A Dairy Bar You Can’t Ignore
Bragging rights? We’ve earned them thanks to our Mid-East dairy bar!
We hate to get cheesy on you but our Mid-East Foods dairy bar rocks. In fact, it’s one of Ottawa’s hidden treasures. The selection of cheeses available to you is next to none, with white cheeses being the most prominent.
Not familiar with white cheese? White cheese is often made with a mixture of cow and sheep milk. It could also consist of one or other. It is semi firm – somewhere between the soft brie and the hard Gouda. And the taste is anywhere between mild to strong. You get your pick. In this post, we would like to introduce you to our most popular cheeses of the Mediterranean: Lebanese baladi cheese, Greek feta cheese and Cypriot halloumi cheese.
As with any post we put up about food, we always like to lay out the health or nutritional values. The 3 types of cheese we are featuring are all relatively healthy, as you can see in the Nutritional Facts table.
So, not bad at all! Well, except for the sodium. All 3 types are actually kept in salt water so that they last longer in your fridge. But here’s a tip! You can actually rinse off some of the salt off the block or piece of cheese you plan to eat by running it under cold water. This is true for all 3 types. Let them strain for a couple of minutes or pat them dry with a paper towel and enjoy.
Mediterranean cheese delight
Hey cheese lovers, are you ready to take your cheese adventure to the next level? Here are a few of our tips that you’ll want to thank us for later.
Baladi cheese means local cheese. It’s as authentic as you can get to Lebanese
food. Typically a breakfast option, combined with tomato, cucumber, mint and olives, and sometimes a hint of olive oil. Baladi makes for a great pita roll stuffed with these veggies when you’re on the go.
On the leisurely side, make baladi cheese part of your cheese tray assortment at your next gathering for a taste that you and your guests will be sure to love. Because baladi is mild, it can be paired with a number of options. The obvious is of course crackers, baguette or pita.
If you’re looking for something different, pair it with a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of pepper. And for the glutten free, you can decorate your cheese tray with sliced cucumbers topped with a slice of baladi cheese and an olive. Blissfully good.
Feta over a Greek or pasta salad is and will always be one of our favourite picks. But if you’re looking for new ways to enjoy feta, we have a few ideas for you. Feta with zaatar and olive oil is a fantastic option for your cheese tray assortment. It can also be rolled in a pita or it could just be something you enjoy with your veggies. It takes a couple of minutes to prepare. Just crumble some feta in a bowl, add zaatar, the Lebanese version of the Italian oregano, pour olive oil (a lot of oil) and them use a fork to mash and smoothen the feta as you mix it all together. Got leftovers? No worries as feta keeps in a fridge for weeks.
If you want to take that a step further, make a bruschetta out of that mix. Chop a small onion and mix it in. Lay out on an oven tray the sliced pieces of baguette, scoop and add the feta mix to each slice and then top with diced tomatoes. You could also seal it with a slice of mozzarella cheese to get that melted cheese look. Mouth-watering and always a guest favourite.
We can’t say enough about halloumi. It goes with just about anything and can be had in every way: raw, cooked, baked, and yes, even deep fried. Ever tried halloumi with cold, juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? Amazing!
Another simple yet tasty way to eat halloumi is to roll it in a pita or place it on a toasted bagel. It’s one of the cheeses we use on our pies too. You can use halloumi to make your cheese pies at home using either pita or naan bread, topped with a sliver of butter. If you use cheese in some of your meals, halloumi makes for a great substitute to whatever cheese you use. Just keep in mind that halloumi is not a cheese that melts when cooked. You could always mix it up with some mozzarella to get that melted cheese effect.
Because halloumi doesn’t melt, it’s the perfect cheese to put on the grill or toss in a fryer. It holds well, which means you don’t get that “melt in your mouth” feel. The taste? Delicious! You could make cheese fingers fries or grilled cheese or battered cheese fingers. And that’s not all! Check out Amuse Your Bouche a site on vegetarian recipes. Becca, the blogger, is a halloumi cheese fanatic who offers a long list of halloumi recipes that will make you drool.
If you’d like to learn about other Mediterranean cheeses, a staff member at our dairy bar is always happy to help. Cheese is available pre-packed or cut to the block size or weight that you want. Simply ask!
Whether you’re looking for a flavourful stand-alone hot or cold snack, an appetizer or a complement to a meal, white cheese could be just the thing you’ve been longing for. Also, check out the Party Delights that will please any crowd!