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Can You Eat Halloumi Raw?

Is Eating Halloumi Raw Safe? How Should You Do It?

By on July 13, 2022

Halloumi is absolutely delicious when it’s cooked. It doesn’t really matter how you cook it! But what about if you leave it raw? Can you eat halloumi raw or would it make you sick?

You can eat halloumi raw. Halloumi is edible and safe to eat raw but it isn’t anywhere near as tasty as it is once it has been cooked. So, whilst you can eat it raw you may not want to.

Ultimately, this isn’t an easy question to answer because there are some foods that may be safe to eat raw but are definitely far better eaten when cooked! Halloumi is one of those foods.


What Does Raw Halloumi Taste Like?

You know that rich, salty taste with a little bit of a tang you would expect from your cooked halloumi? Raw Halloumi tastes like this but is much more intense.

Cooking the cheese helps to bring out the salt and this mellows out the tangy taste of the raw cheese. This is why many people don’t like raw halloumi when they try it. It is definitely an acquired taste.

You may find the texture is a little softer than you would expect from cooked halloumi but it will still have that rubbery texture with a bit of a squeak when you eat it.


How to Eat Halloumi Raw

Because raw halloumi has such a strong and distinctive flavour it can only really be used in small amounts. You won’t want to grab a block from the fridge, cut a wedge and eat it like you would a good-quality cheddar, for example.

Instead, here are a few ideas for where you can add raw halloumi to bring out the best of its flavours:

Pasta Topping

You would usually grate a hard cheese like parmesan over your pasta to give it that final flourish and bring out the flavours but if you want something slightly different then you can use raw halloumi instead. 

Grab your block of halloumi and grate it over your freshly cooked Italian meal to your tastes. You do need to be careful not to add too much because the halloumi has a very strong flavour that can overpower the whole meal. 

If you do this as soon as you portion out the pasta, you’ll actually find that the residual heat from the pasta will soften the halloumi up so it’s not completely raw.

Salad Topping

You can liven up any salad by adding a little cheese and raw halloumi is perfect for adding a lot of flavour by adding only a small amount of cheese.

If you love a sweet salad with some fruit then grate a little raw halloumi over the top to bring the sweet flavour back down. There is nothing quite like a little salt to heighten and improve the sweet flavour of fruit in a salad. 

Sandwich or Wrap

It is easy to get bored of your lunchtime sandwiches so why not add something a little different?

Make your usual meat or veggie sandwich as normal and then add a little raw halloumi. You don’t want to add too much because the flavour is very strong so we would suggest you grate a little into the sandwich or use a y-peeler to cut thin ribbons rather than try adding slices of halloumi into it.

This means you can control just how much of this strong flavour you add and it is much easier to avoid overdoing the flavour.

Serve With Watermelon

Halloumi is a popular cheese in Cyprus and one way they like to eat their halloumi is as simple as it is delicious.

Chop up halloumi into cubes and pop it onto a cocktail stick. Cube some watermelon and add a cube to each cocktail stick. You have a quick, easy, continental and delicious alternative to cheese and pineapple that is just as tasty.

Benefits of Eating Halloumi Raw

There are not many benefits of eating your halloumi raw versus cooking it up. There are probably more disadvantages than advantages of leaving it raw.

The main advantage is obviously time. It takes time to cut up and cook your halloumi so if you are short on time then it is safe to eat your halloumi raw instead but it will not taste anywhere near as delicious. 

It’s quite often the case that halloumi gets overly charred on the outside which is not good for your health. By not cooking it, you avoid the risk of consuming burnt, charred food.

If you need a particularly strong flavour in your meals to make them perfect then raw halloumi can do the trick. It has a very salty and tangy taste that can be perfect for some pasta and salads.

Should You Eat Halloumi Raw?

As a general rule, it isn’t advisable to serve your halloumi raw. Not many people enjoy it raw because of just how punchy the flavour can be. You may find that it overpowers everything else on the plate!

This is down to your personal preference and it is perfectly safe to eat your halloumi raw if you prefer it that way. It might be worth warning any guests you have over before serving it up to them, however, as it can be a bit of a surprise.

Raw Halloumi FAQs

If you’ve got other specific questions about eating raw halloumi then these might help:

Can You Eat Cold Halloumi?

If you have cooked halloumi then allowed it to cool you can it. This is great for wraps and salads. It’s important not to leave it out at room temperature for extended periods of time, however.

Can You Eat Raw Halloumi When Pregnant?

Although it’s likely to be perfectly safe to eat when pregnant, you’re far better off eating halloumi cooked to ensure any bacteria has been killed off.

Is Raw Halloumi Salty?

Yes, like halloumi when it is cooked, it will be incredibly salty – more than when it is cooked, in fact! Grated, raw halloumi is a great way to season salads and pasta so hold back on the actual salt.

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