You'll taste the caraway seeds more than anything, but don't expect a straight-up caraway flavor; these black seeds taste surprisingly like cumin. Very savory and unique. Tasting very much like mozzarella, with a bit higher acidity and a pleasantly squeaky chew, in a lunchbox it would be most welcome. But perhaps this twisted cheese may feel most comfortable on a meze platter, among olives, pita bread, and other Mediterranean snacks.
There is one trick to stringing the cheese into the longest threads possible. Don't start stringing while the cheese is still twisted! Untwist the entire rope first, which is more easily done without breaking if the cheese is at room temperature. Twist each end in opposite directions and wiggle the ends around and through the center to unknot. Then just channel your inner grade-schooler and start pulling the cheese apart into strings. If serving for a group, you can leave the cheese in various widths, so that people can partake in the stringing.
This cheese originates in the the Armenian town of Aleppo (or "Halaby" in Arabic), but most that I've seen are made state-side by Armenian producers. It's sold in pieces that weigh about three-quarters of a pound, and when strung, make quite a hefty pile.
Armenian string cheese can be found at Middle Eastern markets and at Parthenon Foods for $7.99 each.
Nora Singley is an avid lover of cheese, and for some time she was a Cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York City, where she continues to teach cheese classes for the public. She is currently an assistant chef on The Martha Stewart Show.
(Images: Nora Singley)