Halloumi cheese - keeps its shape even on the grill
Photo: Christoph Schmidt / dpa
Halloumi cheese is a kind of national symbol in Cyprus.
So it's no wonder that the grilled cheese that squeaks so characteristic when chewed has provoked so many arguments.
For example, when negotiating a trade agreement, or when it comes to copyright issues.
The manufacturers successfully defended themselves in court against the use of the name for by competitors from Bulgaria.
The European Commission has now improved protection for halloumi - and for cheese from the Greek and Turkish sides of the Mediterranean island alike.
Halloumi from both parts of Cyprus - Hellim in Turkish - is now registered in the EU as a "protected designation of origin", as the Brussels authority announced.
Thus, after years of preparatory work, certain quality standards apply.
The product must have been produced, processed and manufactured according to certain procedures in a certain area.
Economic benefits for Cyprus
The fact that the decision applies to both parts of the divided island can be seen as a specialty.
The EU Commission spoke of a »symbolic step that brings the two communities closer together and creates trust through cooperation«.
Cyprus has been divided into a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot part since 1974.
The entire island republic has been a member of the EU since 2004.
However, EU law and regulations do not apply in the Turkish Cypriot north - unless there is a solution, as in the case of Halloumi.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized only by Turkey.
The application for recognition as a “protected designation of origin” dates back to 2015. It has now been granted with the consent of the EU member states.
Only Halloumi / Hellim, "which is manufactured in Cyprus in compliance with the product specification, will in future be allowed to use the registered name, which will bring clear economic advantages for Cyprus," said the EU Commission.
apr / dpa