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August 27, 2018
If you love feta cheese, then you should definitely read this!

Never before did a cheese have so many fanatic supporters and enemies. Some, can’t imagine their lives without feta cheese while others will run away as soon as they see it (let alone smell it). Here, we will not worry about the latter category but will deal with the first one! Those who can’t live without feta cheese! Let’s start with a very basic question: Do you know what’s weird about feta? It’s one of the few kinds of cheese (and foods in general) makes its absence felt when you sit around the table. You see, feta is so closely linked to some foods, that you can’t enjoy them if it’s not there. Gemista (stuffed vegetables) and Greek salad are two very good examples, but surely, they’re not the only ones. So… What is it that makes feta cheese a quintessential part of our life and our cooking? Its distinctive, strong, salty – and in some cases – particularly buttery flavor.

It is made out of pure, fresh sheep and goat milk, and it does not have any preservatives or food coloring. Rich in fats, feta cheese is one of the most well-known Greek products that has managed to obtain the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Another distinctive characteristic? Its ripeness which must last for 2 months at least is done in metallic vessels or wooden barrels (more on that later…).

White gold …

Yes, feta cheese could easily be characterized as the “white gold’ of our country, since it is an integral part of our daily lives. According to studies, we eat about 25 kilos of feta cheese per year. In addition, it is our best asset with regards to cooking. It is one of the oldest cheeses made in Greece and it has reached its current taste, form, and texture through the years. Truth is that you can find countless variants in every corner of Greece and particularly in places in which feta cheese is PDO (Protected Designation of Origin). Central Greece, Epirus, the mountains of Peloponnese, many areas in Thessaly as well as Lesbos are some of these places.

 

It’s more than tasty…

Calcium, phosphorus, vitamins D, B12 and A as well as proteins of high biological value are amongst the valuable nutrients of the feta cheese. These nutrients will not only give antibacterial properties to the feta, but they will also strengthen the bones and contribute to the good function of our gastrointestinal system (unless you are lactose-intolerant). All of the above, along with its amazing flavor, will surely give to the feta a place in our table and daily lives.

Polymorphic, no matter where it ripens…

So… metallic vessel or barrel? What is the best place for a feta cheese to ripen and become tastier than ever? In the past, there was the notion that a wooden barrel was the ideal place and in it, the cheese could “breathe” and remain fresh and tasty. Nowadays, things have changed. There are many who claim that feta cheese ripened in a metal vessel can easily compete with barrel-ripened and the important thing is not where the feta will ripen, but how it is made. What does that mean? That if you have an excellent quality milk and a very careful production process (pasteurization, coagulation, and ripening) then you can nothing to fear – your feta will be delicious no matter where it ripens (in a wooden barrel, a metallic vessel or any other place suited for food). Delicious and… polymorphic! What does polymorphic mean? Handy! Yes, handy, because it fits well with countless dishes. Greek salad and stuffed vegetables (gemista) doubtlessly require its presence (something that is actually true for all dishes cooked in olive oil). There are, however, some dishes that would not be the same without it. Cheese pie (tyropita) and spinach pie are amongst those dishes. Strapatsada (tomato scrambled eggs) is also a dish that climbs to a different level with the addition of the feta, but also Tyrokafteri, which has many fans.

What do you say? Are you ready to see (and make!) some of the most delicious feta recipes you’ve ever tried? You will find them listed below. If you want more, all you have to do is search on my website, using the word “feta” in the search engine.

Akis

Greek stuffed vegetables (gemista)

Greek stuffed vegetables (gemista)

 

Greek green bean and olive oil stew

Greek green bean and olive oil stew

Greek frybread with feta cheese

Greek frybread with feta cheese

Watermelon with feta cheese

Watermelon with feta cheese

Frittata with feta cheese and herbs

Frittata with feta cheese and herbs

Greek cheese pies from the island of Skopelos

Greek cheese pies from the island of Skopelos

Greek fried cheese pies - Tyropitaria

Greek fried cheese pies

Feta phyllo parcels with honey

Feta phyllo parcels with honey

Tomato and feta cheese stuffed burgers

Tomato and Feta Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Now, if you think we are through with feta tips and info, you are completely wrong!

Watch these bonus video tips and learn…

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