If you are reading this piece it's likely that halloumi - that moreish, salty-sweet Cypriot cheese - has become as essential to your life as a winter coat and toothpaste. Perhaps like us you're filled with panic when the halloumi section in the fridge at your local supermarket is bare. Welcome, fellow halloumi addict, you are among friends here.

Over the past few years, the UK has truly fallen in love with the squidgy cheese. Cast your mind back to a time - some say a much darker time - when we barely knew how to pronounce "halloumi". This was before we knew we could grab a slab on the way home from work, carve it into slices, grill them and devour the golden slithers in minutes.

Since 2011, Google searches for "halloumi" have climbed upwards as people in the UK have been introduced to the cheese in all its squeaky glory. And in the past year alone, Waitrose has seen sales spike by 24 per cent - prompting them to place it on the supermarket's "essentials" list. It begs the question: what exactly were eating before we welcomed halloumi into our fridges, stomachs, and post-pub snacking sessions? The cheese is so popular that the Cyprus Tourism Organisation is hosting a halloumi pop-up restaurant at 100 Hoxton in East London from 13 to 17 November.

Connoisseurs of the stuff will know to grill the salty-yet-sweet cheese and lay slices on salad leaves, or nestle them inside a warm pitta with a slick of hummus. But what about those who want to go rogue? IBTimes UK asked some cooks and chefs to recommend some more unusual ways to eat our favourite cheese.

Halloumi fries

Only something very special indeed would make us happily ditch a plate of fries. It turns out that special thing is a fried finger of halloumi.

"These are so easy to make," says Baliboosta food blogger Ali Alt. "All you need is a sharp knife, dusting of flour and piping hot pan.

"They are a fantastic alternative to classic fries, I mean, who doesn't like deep-fried cheese?!"

Halloumi tacos

Google a photo of a taco right now and tell me you're not overwhelmed by the urge to eat one. Didn't think so. And the only thing that could conceivably improve a taco is - yes, you've sense a pattern forming here - halloumi cheese.

"Halloumi cheese is a wonderful cooking cheese and I have always enjoyed it with a squeeze of lemon and a pitta bread," says Peter Sidwell, a TV chef and owner of Simply Good Food TV.

"I wanted to play on the saltiness of the cheese and serve it with something contrasting. Char grilling the peaches give the perfect contrast with there sweetness, then finished with a hit of chilli, mint and a squeeze of lime brings it all together served in a tacos. It's a really crowd pleaser."

Halloumi omelette

Be honest - has anyone ever truly enjoyed an omelette? Sure, they're fine, but they tend to lack some pizzazz. But maybe that's because we've been eating them without halloumi. Alt suggests ditching the mountains of melted cheese traditional found in omelettes for slices of stiff halloumi for a gratifying alternative.

Strawberry and basil salad

Strawberries? Yes. Halloumi? YES. Strawberries AND halloumi. Why didn't we think of that?!

"The acidity of the strawberries and balsamic cuts through the creaminess of the cheese," Dom McBride, head chef at The Blackbird restaurant in Edinburgh, explains. "Grilled halloumi is always popular and you can add even more flavour simply by crusting the cheese with herbs and spices. "

He adds: "Sumac and other middle eastern spices work really well for this. Or you can deep fry it so that it melts even more."

Halloumi wrapped in parma ham

Did you really think we'd make it to the end of this list without including some sort of bacon-like product? "Wrap the halloumi in Parma ham before frying to add a nice salty note," says McBride.

Halloumi toastie

We know what you're thinking. Sure, halloumi is great, but nothing will topple cheddar from its position as "king of toastie cheese". But Alt says that Persian chef Sabrina Ghayour's halloumi, harissa and honey combination is one of her favourites.

"My love for an oozing, golden cheese toastie has continued to blossom," she says.