Feta Cheese and Your perfect Choices
The flagship of Greek gastronomy, this sheep’s milk cheese can be found in many recipes. But can you recognize a good feta? We help you choose it right.
Until 2012, vagueness reigned in the cheese department. You could find pale versions of fetas made around the world, and with cow’s milk! But after several years of battle, Greece managed to register at European level the name “feta” as PDO (protected designation of origin). This official sign of quality requires that feta be produced only in Greece, according to very precise specifications.
As Alexandros Rallis, founder of the Profil Grec grocery store explains, authentic feta is made with at least 70% sheep’s milk and 30% goat’s milk. To be sure to buy a real feta, read the labels and appellations well and avoid the “simili” fetas and other “Mediterranean cheeses with good sheep’s milk” with pretty blue and white packaging reminiscent of the colors of Greece. Now the Sheep milk feta cheese is perfectly available for you.
Choose (well) your cheese maker
Prefer artisanal feta rather than an industrial product. Alexandros Rallis assures him, there are still many artisans in Greece who have real expertise, carefully select the milks, and work and shape the cheeses by hand. You will find these authentic fetas in delicatessens, online stores and cheese makers where “sourcing” is very extensive.
Good news, we can now find quality feta in supermarkets. Mavromatis in particular markets a very honest feta (mainly in Monoprix stores).
A good feta is a nice milky white. Its texture is both firm and soft, and its flavor is slightly salty, but without excess. It is the art of the cheese maker to achieve the perfect balance between lactic note and acidity.
Also note that feta is produced from January to May. The first 3 months, it is “buttered” and long in the mouth. From April, it is drier. Hence the interest in looking closely at the date of manufacture according to the taste and texture you are looking for.
You can keep it for a good week in the fridge, preferably in a box, away from air.
Some tasting tips
In Greece, feta is never eaten alone, at the end of a meal. Alexandros explains that it is used more as a condiment. It is an ingredient in its own right that finds its place in many recipes. We obviously know it in salads , but it is also succulent crumbled on flat beans, cooked in foil with vegetables, integrated into a cake or a puff pastry with spinach, or even breaded and fried!