Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese. Traditional feta is a soft, salty, tangy cheese from Greece that is made from sheep’s and goat’s milk. In 2002 the European Union added feta to its list of protected products or PDO, which limited both where the name feta could be applied and the ingredients that could be used in its manufacture. In other parts of the world ‘feta style’ cheese is more commonly made from cow’s milk.

Traditional Greek Feta Cheese

How is Traditional Feta Made?

Feta is made from curds, made by adding rennet to raw or pasteurised sheep and goat’s milk. It is always best to check the label as unpasteurised cheeses can cause a small risk to pregnant mothers. The curds are pressed into blocks to extract the whey, then cut down into slices to be salted. The word feta comes from the Italian fetta which means slice. The cheese is dried for a couple of days and then aged in brine for up to several months.

Top of the range feta is barrel-aged. Like whisky or wine the oak barrels enable small amounts of oxygen to react with contents and alongside natural yeasts in the wood help develop the flavours. Barrel-aged feta has a soft, creamy texture and a peppery finish. There are only a small number of classic feta producers left in Greece because of the time and investment required.

A Greek salad with Feta cheese

Feta is lower in fat and therefore calories than aged hard cheeses like Cheddar it does however have a relatively high salt content. Feta breaks up easily and can be used sparingly crumbled onto salads like the classic Greek salad or with grilled Spring vegetables, and it is great with lamb, try topping a lamb burger with a slice! You can blend it into a dip with lemon, pepper, thyme, and good quality olive oil and serve with grilled flatbreads and is a staple ingredient of spanakopita, a layered filo pastry pie with spinach.

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