Hundreds came through the doors of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria (CCMV) in East Brunswick for day one of the Halloumi Festival.
Upon entry, attendees were treated to a halloumi tasting, accompanied by a glass of home made Cypriot wine.
Delicious aromas filled the space with food stalls set up with plenty of Cypriot favourites to try. Halloumi of course featured highly as both fries, in salads and encased in thin flaky phyllo pastry. There were also koupes, souvlaki, and for those with a hankering for dessert, bourekia filled with ricotta, dusted with icing sugar and cinammon, as well as loukoumades.
Foodies gathered at the food demonstration station to learn how to make halloumi cheese from scratch, with an insightful presentation by Cypriot Australian Eleni Georges from food blog My Family’s Food Diary (see video below). My Kitchen Rules contestants Mick and Jodie-Anne Barlow also made an appearance, demonstrating how to incorporate halloumi into cooking.
Adding to the atmosphere was live music by AETOS Band, along with folk dancing.
The Cyprus Halloumi Festival continues tomorrow, Sunday 27 October. See the timetable below:
11.00 am Food stalls and music are on offer for visitors to enjoy.
12 noon-6.00 pm Hourly halloumi-making sessions held by Eleni Georges.
1.00-3.00 pm Entertainment by the AETOS Band, singing by Alexandra Chronopoulos, as well as dancing by Pontiaki Estia Dance Group, the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria dancers, and Pegasus Dance Academy.
3.30 pm The president’s welcome.
3.45 pm Re-enactment of a traditional village halloumi-making ceremony by the CCMV dance group and Jim Ioannou performing the Halloumi Hymn.
4.15 pm Tsiattista (mantinades) with Sotiris Stylianou and Jim Ioannou.
4.30 pm Re-enactment of traditional Cypriot wine-making by the CCMV dance group.
5.00-8.00 pm The AETOS Band will perform Greek music and the dance floor will be open for everyone to dance.
Where: 495 Lygon St, East Brunswick, VIC