Gourmet Greece: Say Greek Cheese!

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greek cheeses are among the finest in the world, and many varieties have been accorded protection under the European Union’s Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) provisions. Feta is arguably the best-known Greek cheese abroad. However, there is a great variety of cheeses, produced in Greece, varying from soft, white and sometimes creamy, to hard and yellow and from salty and sour to sweet and mild. The different kinds of cheese presented below are of Protected Denomination of Origin. History of Greek Food: Cheese; The Greek Cheese Page: www.greece.org  

» Soft, Sour and Refreshing

Greek Feta production abides by very specific rules. It is made predominantly with sheep’s milk, although a small percentage of goat’s milk can be added. It is produced only in specific regions: Macedonia, Thrace, Thessaly, Central Mainland Greece, the Peloponnese, and Lesvos. Kalathaki of Lemnos is similar in texture and taste to feta. It is manufactured from ewe’s milk or mixtures with small quantities of goat’s milk, exclusively on Lemnos island. It has soft texture and slightly sour taste. It is consumed mainly as table cheese, in Greek salad. Katiki Domokou, produced exclusively in the Domokos area, as well as Galotiri, produced in the regions of Epirus and Thessaly are soft cheeses, white in colour and creamy in texture. They both have a sourish and very pleasant refreshing taste.

Trade with Greece: A Selection of Greek Traditional Cheeses on your Table; Gourmed: www.gourmed.gr;  Agricultural University of Athens: Food Industry in Greece

» Creamy, Unsalted and Mild

Mizithra is manufactured from whey, derived from ewe’s, goat’s or cow’s milk or a mixtures. Fresh Mizithra is unsalted and consumed a few hours or days after its production. Anthotiros is manufactured from whey of ewe’s and goat’s milk or mixtures, with the addition of small quantities of cream. Manouri is a soft cheese exclusively manufactured in Central and Western Macedonia and in Thessaly from whey derived from ewe’s or goat’s milk, or a mixture of them, with the addition of cream (in larger quantities, than those used for anthotiros). All the three have a soft texture, mild taste and are consumed as table cheese, mainly for breakfast, or in the preparation of cheese-pastries.

European Association of Agricultural Economists, 52nd Seminar: Location Effects in the Production and marketing of traditional Greek Cheeses (June, 1997) 

» Yellow, Hard and Delicious

Graviera is is a hard cheese wtih a light yellow colour, and has a slightly sweet taste. It comes out in many versions depending on the region of production and the recipe used. Most prominent are the Cretan, Naxos and Agrafa Graviera. It is used as a table cheese, in saganaki (fried) or roasted in cooked dishes. Kasseri is a semi-hard, yellow cheese, produced traditionally from sheep’s milk or from a mixture of sheep’s milk and goat’s milk.  It is consumed as table cheese or used in the preparation of pizza. Kefalotiri is manufactured from ewe’s or goat’s milk or mixture of the two. It has a salty and piquant taste and  is consumed as grated cheese. Ladotiri of Mytilene is a hard table cheese, exclusively produced on the island of Lesvos, from sheep’s milk or from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk.  It is often stored in olive oil.

Gorgeous Graviera Gheese: Greek Gourmet Traveller (2007); Secretariat General of Information: About Greece- Agricultural Produce, Greek Food, Olive Oil

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