Waitrose welcomes authentic Greek saganaki cheese on back of strong halloumi sales

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Artisan Greek food brand Odysea has launched a new, speciality cheese into the UK to challenge the huge popularity of Cypriot halloumi.

Odysea Saganaki Kefalotyri cheese is an authentic Greek cheese traditionally dipped in flour then fried. Made with sheep and goat’s milk, it has a much richer flavour than halloumi and when cooked becomes soft inside and crispy on the outside. Saganaki means frying pan in Greek, with the cheese often cooked at home with eggs and eaten straight from the pan.

A favourite for decades of holidaymakers visiting traditonal Greek tavernas, consumers can now recreate the taste of their holidays at home with Waitrose’s new offering. The first supermarket to exclusively stock Odysea Saganaki Kefalotyri (RRP £3.50 for 200g), Waitrose’s cheese buyer Chris Dawson is tipping it to become more popular than halloumi.

Dawson said: “With an intensely rich, cooked flavour Saganaki is delicious grilled, fried or barbecued and we’re expecting Waitrose customers to welcome it to their repertoire.

“Halloumi was almost unknown in the UK until a couple of decades ago, but it is now one of the nation’s favourite cheeses. Long hailed as a great vegetarian option by chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater and Nigella Lawson, with sales up 56% at Waitrose, we’re predicting the more flavoursome Saganaki will build upon the popularity of Halloumi, proving a hit with our customers. “

Odysea has nurtured relationships with Greek artisan producers since 1991 when brand founder Panos Manuelides first brought authentic Greek olives to the UK – selling them from a stall in London’s Portobello Road. Now, 24-years later, Odysea has cemented its reputation amongst retailers, foodservice operators and consumers for its expertise in, and understanding of, Greek food.

The cheese range within the Odysea portfolio also includes award-winning 100% Sheep’s Milk Feta Cheese and Organic Feta Cheese.