Synonymous with Greece, Feta has become a staple in culinary cultures across the globe - both cooked and fresh. Often made using a blend of milk from goats and sheep, the flavors are imbued largely from their forage, resulting in a texture and taste that varies among regions. Over the years, the popularity of Feta has spawned several variants from other culinary cultures, resulting in unique and delicious twists.
Taken as a whole, these fresh cheeses, often referred to as white cheeses, offer salty and tangy profiles, accompanied by crumbly, slightly creamy textures. Their distinct zest, from being stored in brine, gives them unique bite and aridity, similar to that of a dry wine. Some white cheeses are made exclusively from cow’s milk, resulting in a creamier flavor and a springy texture.
Still produced in its place of origin, Feta gets its characteristics from the regions around central Greece. Similarly, other variants of white cheese get their flavor from local ingredients and surroundings. Each pasture offers distinct qualities of both flavor and texture, making each variant unique to its region and country.
While white cheeses do not melt in the same manner as most other cheeses (e.g. Mozzarella or Gruyère), the flavors are greatly enhanced and softened when baked. Pair any white cheese with fresh fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, grapes and red bell pepper, adding rich drizzles of olive oil to garnish.
Remaining virtually unchanged since its invention, the production of original Feta is devoted to tradition and quality.
Production begins by adding rennet and casein to a vat filled with either pasteurized or raw sheep’s milk, or a blend including goat’s milk, and leaving it to coagulate. When the milk thickens, the curd is cut and placed to drain off excess whey in a mold. Once firm, it is cut anew, salted and set in barrels, soaking up flavors and aromas for several days. This prepares the cheese for maturation in brine for a period of more than a few weeks. Usually sold in blocks, the Feta is shipped sealed or in tubs containing some of the brine. This ensures that the cheese stays fresh and full-bodied right up until use.
There are no additives in the traditional method of making white cheese, making it suitable for those who are gluten intolerant, but labels should always be checked before consumption.
Whether the dish calls for sharp zests or added depth, white cheese provides a wide array of different nuances in flavor and texture.
A different take on Feta, White Cheese or Salad Cheese offer a smoother consistency. Made using cow’s milk, the flavors are mild and less tangy, while still retaining the fresh and moist characteristics of its counterpart.
Made from goat’s milk, Chèvre is tangy and crumbly with a tendency towards being slightly crumbly. Ideal in salads, it is moist and resembles tart essences and notes similar to those of Feta.
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