The women of the village make the traditional cheese of Cyprus, “halloumi” (made of goat and sheep’s milk) until now. Unfortunately young people don’t seem willing to continue the tradition, which will be probably lost in some decades.
Lets see how halloumi is made in Letymbou:
Firstly, the milk is heated at a low temperature inside “chartzi” (traditional large copper caldron). Thereafter, the producer adds “pithkia” which is a special powder/enzyme that thickens the milk. An hour later, the milk is set and then the halloumi is cut and put in the “talaria” (special wicker-baskets). Later on, the halloumi is being pressed on hand so that all the liquids are removed.
After the “pressing”, it is placed in the “tiroskamni” (traditional tool) and it is cut into pieces (approximately 200gr each). The rest of the liquid, which have remained in the caldron, is reheated at a high temperature thus producing “anari” (white soft cheese).
The halloumi pieces are then placed back into the caldron, inside the “norros” (whey), and are heated in a low flame until they are completely cooked. The cooking procedure lasts for about 60 to 90 minutes during which the small pieces of halloumi must be occasionally stirred with a special dipper. After being cooked they are again placed in the “tiroskamni”(cheesemaker’s stool) to cool down. Afterwards they are salted and various aromatic elements (such as mint) are added. When the halloumi is cold, it is placed into plastic or glass vessels with “noro”.
The halloumi and the anari have a white color, unlike the majority of the other cheeses.