ABOUT EMRE NATURAL FOODS & HELLIM CHEESE FACTORY
Emre Natural Foods brand was created by Hellim Cheese Factory® to deliver hellim and other cheese products directly to the American consumer.
Hellim Cheese Factory®, a family owned and operated business, was established in 2014 by the Ertugrul family in Stroud, Oklahoma with a vision to bring Cyprus style grilling cheese to America. The Ertugruls grew up in Cyprus, where hellim is served with almost every meal. Hellim is commonly served as fresh slices with fruit or grilled with eggs for breakfast; in paninis, breads, or on the grill at lunch; grated over pasta or fried into soup at dinner; and baked into pastries at desserts with coffee.
After more than 30 years of bringing suitcases full of hellim back from their annual trip back to Cyprus, the Ertugruls decided to start making their own hellim here in the US, and are dedicated to bringing a taste of Cyprus to cheese lovers all over the country using only the best, all natural ingredients.
Hellim is a semihard white cheese with a layered texture similar to fresh mozzerella or firm feta and a slightly salty taste. Due to its higher melting point, hellim can be fried or grilled without melting, and develops a distinctive "squeaky" quality when it is heated. It is delicious when paired with melon, added to a veggie kebab, grated over pasta, topping your favorite burger, or pan fried with eggs for breakfast.
Hellim is a traditional cheese of the Mediterranean and the pride of Cyprus, with roots there dating back thousands of years to the Byzantine Empire.
In ancient times, and long before refrigeration, entire villages would join forces to make huge batches of hellim together. This cheese would then be stored in a salty brine long periods of time without spoiling, and was often wrapped in mint leaves to further preserve its freshness and flavor. While recipes varied slightly from village to village, it was and is a bonding element and source of pride for all Cypriots.
Traditionally, hellim was made from sheep and goat milk, since there were very few cows on the island of Cyprus. Hellim Cheese Factory uses 100% Grade A local cow’s milk to make hellim. Each block of hellim is hand-folded just as it has been for centuries in Cyprus.