The most delicious Greek cheeses

Gastronomic tourism with the promotion of local products, as well as traditional and Mediterranean cuisine is very popular. Special cheeses are made in every corner of Greece. Some of them are marked with the certificate (P.D.O.), confirming the uniqueness and high quality. Greece has its own tradition of cheese making. The list of different kinds of cheeses is not limited: «Manouri» in Sifnos, «Kalathaki» in Lemnos, «San Michalis» in Syros, «Chlorine» in Santorini and etc.

We are starting to get acquainted with the famous and delicious cheeses from different regions. It is necessary to mention «KatikiDomokou» in Central Greece. It is cream cheese with a light taste that is made from goat milk. In Aetolia with the exception of Western Macedonia and Epirus, you can taste hard «Kefalograviera», that has P.D.O. award. Parnassos is famous for its wonderful hard «Formaela», which has cylindrical shape and smoked flavor. Moreover, in this region there is a soft white cheese «Teleme» and yogurt-like «Tsalafouti».We drive south to the Peloponnese to try «Sfela». It looks like «Feta» and when the cheese matures, it is often used to prepare delicious dishes «Saganaki» (cheese in batter, fried in a pan). Leonidio residents make cheeses from cream, and in Kalavryta they cook their own varieties of «Formaela».

Local cheeses in Cyclades are very famous. On the island of Naxos «Arsenic» has hard, but with a delicate taste. In Tinos «Graviera» (P.D.O.) considered to be one of the best cheeses in Greece. Light yellow «Graviera» from Naxos (P.D.O.) has a unique taste. Famous Cycladic «Kopanisti» (P.D.O.) is spicy and salty, so they are usually used in salads. «Manura» is made in Sifnos, it has salty taste, soft texture, nice pink color and a wine aroma. «San Mihaly» (P.D.O.) in Syros made from cow's milk and give it a spicy flavor is special: it has the highest quality and is most expensive in Greece.

You should taste «Chlorine» while taking tours in Santorini island. It has two different tastes: fresh and mild or mature and solid. «Ksinogala» in the Sikin island is a great addition to the salads. This soft cheese is squeezed from sheep or goat milk, and then dried for a long time.Our journey continues in Crete, where the cheese industry has flourished for many years and produces excellent products. Besides ricotta, which is added in spaghetti in grated form, Cretans will show you the unique «Graviera» (P.D.O.). This slightly salty cheese is produced in large heads and is served raw, roasted and fried — as you like. «Kefalograviera» compared to «Graviera» but is more spicy and firm. «Malaka» (or «Tiromalama») in Crete turns on the penultimate stage of preparation «Kefalograviery». It nicely melts and is used for pies and baking.

«Ksinomizitra» (P.D.O.) has a sour taste and contains few calories. «Mizithra» has a typical mild flavor. «Staka» is a milk product prepared from salted skim milk. It is often used in Crete instead of butter for frying eggs, pasta and cakes. In Dodecanese you can taste a soft «Elaiki» made from sheep or goat milk. On Kos you have to try «Krasotiri», which is soaked in wine for a few days. It is shaped like tree trunk or cane, and then is cuted into pieces.

North Aegean islands, particularly Lemnos, has a long tradition of cooking cheeses. In addition to «Kalataki» (P.D.O.) with its interesting shape and salty flavor and yellowish hue «Casero» (P.D.O.) with a subtle aroma is very popular here. «Ladotyri» (P.D.O.) cheese from Mitilini island is considered as one of the best Greek cheeses. It is soaked in a spicy oil and receives a great flavor. Soft «Mastelo» is made on the island of Chios. The exclusive recipe belongs to Mr. Costas Tumazu who achieved great success with this brand not only in Greece but also abroad.

Epirus is famous for its pies and its cheeses, mainly «Metsovone» (P.D.O.). It is a yellow cheese with smoked aroma. You can eat it raw and roasted on the grill. You can also taste the real salty-spicy «Kefalograviera» (P.D.O.). In the city of Tulum, you can enjoy a light cream cheese «Tulumotiri» and delicate slices of «Galotiri».We conclude our tour of the Ionian Islands. In Mitat you should pay attention to the «Ladotyri» and in Corfu — hard cheeses «Kefalograviera» and «Ladograviera».So we met with the most outstanding masterpieces of Greek cheese making. But we must not forget the queen of cheeses, which is the «Feta» — a creamy curd cheese, which is excellent in almost every area of Greece.

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