The Slice of the Greece – Feta Cheese

From this article you will learn…

  • Why eating feta cheese is beneficial to the human body?
  • Who can eat feta cheese?
  • Can you eat feta cheese while on a diet?
  • Does feta cheese always taste the same?
  • What kind of milk is used to make feta cheese?
  • What are the techniques for making feta cheese?
  • What are the signs of moisture and saltiness in feta cheese?

Greek products are known all over the world, and one of the country’s icons is feta cheese.  It is described as the oldest cheese in the world.  Its history dates back to Byzantine times. The current Greek-sounding name 'feta’ comes from the Italian word 'fetta’ meaning slice. It owes its popularity to its healthy and natural properties. Have you ever wondered how feta cheese is made? Why is it healthy and why is its history connected with mythology? You will find all the answers in this article.


The original feta cheese mainly consists of pasteurized sheep’s milk (sometimes goat’s milk as well). Its form of creation is strictly preserved and its recipe is not modified. In particular, it is not an easy product to make at home. The taste of feta cheese can vary significantly depending on the form expected by the owner.


It was mentioned above that the production of feta cheese is a complex and restrictive recipe. After selecting the milk that meets all the requirements, it undergoes a maturation process (mainly lasting 3 months) with the help of selected microorganisms. Then the milk undergoes coagulation the main product of which is whey. The whey is placed in a brine bath and drained off without pressure. Under its influence the cheese becomes moist and acquires a salty taste. In tradition, its process differs clearly, as the milk was beaten with a fig tree branch (as its juice contained digestive enzymes). Another technique that exists during production is pouring the milk into a vessel that previously contained the remains of curds from the previous milk product. This served to curdle the milk. Its authentic form is loaves. Originally, it should have been packed in wooden barrels or metal containers.



Benefits of consumption


Feta is a cheese whose properties and nutritional value have been known since ancient Greece. It is a rich source of complete protein (an important building block) and calcium. A high sodium content means that not everyone can eat it. It is wrong to say that feta cheese cannot be eaten by people on a diet, thinking that it is a source of high calories or cholesterol. Its components are involved in the regulation of gene expression and during metabolic processes.It also enters into the composition of enzyme systems, and takes an active part in the transport of oxygen and in the regularity of vision.



It was mentioned above that feta cheese is considered to be one of the oldest cheeses in the world. Interestingly, since 2002, the name „feta” has been protected and reserved exclusively for cheeses produced in Greece. Its name was introduced into the Greek language in the 17th century and refers to the production method used on the Greek island of Lesbos. Feta cheese took a permanent place in the canon of traditional foods of ancient Greece. It became a recognizable product of Greek cuisine. The method of making feta cheese is also described in Homer’s „Odyssey”.

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