What’s the Appeal of Halloumi Fries?

I am a big fan of the traditional bar snack.  Scotch egg; sausage roll; pork pie; battered saveloy; pork scratchings: there’s my five-a-day in one easy drinking session.

But there is a new kid on the block, threatening to infiltrate the well-established processed meat monopoly.  Halloumi fries.

Halloumi fries were reputedly conceived at Oli Baba’s food stall in Camden Market in 2015.  It is not a particularly historic heritage, but let it not be said that I am wedded to tradition; I am quite prepared to embrace the new as much as the next woman.

So, Halloumi fries?  What could go wrong?  I like cheese.  I like chips.  They’re just cheesy chips.  Right?  I can only wonder why no one thought of them sooner.  Only… Halloumi fries.  It is cheese, but not as I know it.  And these little battered sticks… would I really describe them as chips?  I am not so sure.  Just because something looks like a chip, and feels like a chip, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a chip.  That is one lesson that I learned the hard way.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I did not entirely dislike Halloumi fries, but neither did I entirely like them.  I just find them rather blandly rubbery, and this from someone who actively enjoys calamari.  Would they grow on me if I was drunker?  Possibly.  After all, so much else in Life does, but this is not a particularly affirming caveat.

Brew City sell a frozen version of the snack, describing them as ‘proper bar snacks’ and that they are ideal ‘when you’re with your mates and the munchies set in after a few drinks’.  I think I might prefer to reach for a Spam fritter.

I try to analyse my reaction to Halloumi fries in the cold light of day.  I think my principal disappointment is that I believe there is a similar but superior bar snack delicacy out there just waiting to happen.  One that sacrifices the beneficial rigidity of a Halloumi for the cooked chaos of a Cheddar; one that tames and encapsulates this chaos in a hot water crust pastry, combined with pork; and then shapes the ensuing sticky mess into the shape of a chip.  The hot cheese pork pie chip.  Sue’s Savoury. For any food historians out there: origin, Beery Sue’s fevered and gluttonous imagination, Euston Road, April 2023.

© Beery Sue

Beery Sue is nothing if not a connoisseur.

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