|Santorini Restaurants &
|Greek Feta Cheese : the
Princess of Cheeses
|This white creation, a testament to the high standard
of Greek cheese makers justifiably lays claim to the title 'princess'
of cheeses, and is coveted far above all other contenders.
Feta is the cheese consumed more than any other in Greece, taking
40% of the total quantity. If one bears in mind that on average
the population eat 25 kilos, this means that the average Greek
consumes 10 kilos of feta per year.
|We are talking about a cheese which has been produced
for over 2 centuries in Greece, and older types have a connection
with the traditional 'touloumotiri' (a kind of cheese). Feta
is a white skinless cheese, made in large square or triangle
slabs, and preserved in wooden barrels or tin containers filled
with brine. In this way the freshness and acidity is maintained.
|It is made from sheep's milk or a combination of
sheep and goat's milk. The goat's milk should not exceed a 30%
ratio. Pytia is used as well as cultivated sheep's yoghurt.
After being salted, it rests a few hours at low temperatures,
and is later placed in barrels or containers filled with brine.
It is then refrigerated and is ready for consumption after 60
days. The hardness depends on the length of the ripening period
and fats contained. A mature feta can be broken down like this:
Moistness: 52% Fats: 25-26% Proteins approx. :17% Salt: 1,8-2%
learn about Pytia click here
| In spite of being patented
in 1996 as a protected cheese name deriving from the country
of origin, Greece, other countries disputed the patent
and legal proceedings continued right up till 2002. After
heated debates in court between Greece and other European
countries, it became obvious that feta is an authentic
Greek cheese and is made only from sheep's milk. So, on
the 14th October by order 1829/2002 feta became for the
2nd time Greek. Litigation however has not stopped there,
and recourse has once again been sought by Denmark, Germany,
France and Italy.
October 26, 2005 ·
The European Union's highest court has ruled that feta
cheese is a traditional Greek product that deserves
protection throughout the 25-nation block. As a result,
non-Greek European feta producers will not be allowed
to call their product "feta."
After a 16-year legal battle, the European Court of
Justice in a final ruling, announced that the definition
of feta was reserved for cheese from Greece alone because
it had been registered as a protected "designation
of origin" product by the European Commission in
The European Union's top court ended the country's
acrimonious dispute with Denmark and Germany.
There is no right of appeal against the October 25
The ruling was a landmark victory for the Greek rural
landscape, where feta is believed to have been produced
from a blend of sheep's and goat's milk for the past
6,000 years. Denmark and Germany wanted to use the same
Greek name for feta-like cheese made in their countries.
Agriculture Minister Evangelos Bassiakos said "This
is a historic vindication of Greek dairy farming and
agriculture which is endowed with several products of
unique natural quality and ingredients through the millennia".
The decision was also welcomed by Greek dairy producers,
who said the ruling would help market feta against rival
products. "We can now relaunch our campaign to
promote the advantages of our products," said a
statement by the Association of Greek Dairy Farmers
|Variations of Feta from other areas
| Small round basket-shaped, spicy &
aromatic. Made from local sheep's milk on Limnos island.
| 'Feta of the Fire' made in Messinia, salty,
hard, spicy, ideal for making 'saganaki' or grilling.
| Salty, dry, made from sheep's milk, or
goat & sheep's milk, ideal for frying.