EU moves to protect cheese from both sides of divided Cyprus

AP News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2015 8:29 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has moved to recognize halloumi, or hellim in Turkish, as a protected cheese from both sides of the Greek-Turkish divided island of Cyprus and lauds it as a symbolic step toward further reunification.

The salty, chewy cheese is perhaps Cyprus' greatest gift to world gastronomy and the 28-nation bloc on Tuesday took a major step toward full name protection by publishing its official application for the status, which would mean only cheese made in Cyprus could be called halloumi in EU countries.

The island nation was forcibly divided in 1974 into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the cheese unification drive shows the commitment of both sides "to work together on projects unifying the whole island."