Thursday, August 12, 2010

Feta - A Festival for the Mouth

There is nothing like the first bite of a piece of tangy, salty feta cheese to make your whole mouth come alive. Made from the milk of sheep or goat, Feta could be considered the national cheese of Greece if there was one. It's certainly a staple of Ziziki's award winning Greek cuisine.

If you love the taste then you’ll love it’s versatility – feta is not only used as a table cheese, it’s excellent in salads (Greek salad), pastries, baking (notably in the popular phyllo-based dishes spanakopita ("spinach pie") and tyropita ("cheese pie") and combined with olive oil and vegetables. It can also be served cooked or grilled, as part of a sandwich or as a salty alternative to other cheeses in a variety of dishes.

The Greek word "feta" comes from the Italian word fetta ("slice"). It was introduced into the Greek language in the 17th century. Although similar white brined cheeses called “feta” are found in the eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea, they are often made partly or wholly of cow's milk. Since 2002, feta has been a protected designation of origin product. According to the relevant EU legislation, only those cheeses produced in a traditional way in some areas of Greece (mainland and the island of Lesvos), and made from sheep's milk, or from a mixture of sheep's and goats’ milk (up to 30%) of the same area, may bear the name "feta".

Go Greece!

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