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What Are the Different Types of Greek Cheese?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 12 March 2014
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Greek cheeses are many and wide in variety, with many colors, flavors, and textures. For the most part, each area in Greece has its own regional style of cheese, and may have several local types of cheeses. They can be hard or soft and aged or fresh, and they come in many colors. The most popular and well known variety of Greek cheese is feta. Other popular types of cheeses made in Greece include myzithra, kasseri, and graviera.

The most well-known varieties of Greek cheese are generally graviera, feta, and myzithra. Graviera is a hard cheese made from sheep's milk or cow's milk, depending on the region. It is generally known as a slightly sweet hard cheese and as a versatile cheese that can be used grated or cooked in many types of dishes.

Feta cheese is generally recognized as a soft, crumbly Greek cheese, but feta can also be hard. This type of Greek cheese is widely popular and is recognized all over the world. Though it is usually made with sheep's and goat's milk in Greece, many types of feta sold outside of Europe in countries like the United States are made with cow's milk. Buying a certified Greek-produced feta cheese is the only way to ensure that the cheese is genuine sheep's or goat's milk feta.

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Myzithra is a popular Greek cheese eaten in Greece and in other countries to which it is exported. It can be fresh and soft or hard and aged. Myzithra, also spelled mizithra, is a type of manouri cheese, which is a group of Greek cheeses made from the whey of the production process that makes feta.

Aged myzithra is slightly off white and hard. It is generally used for grating in pasta and on salad. Aged myzithra is salted, dried, and aged to achieve its popular flavor and texture.

This type of aged cheese can be prepared with or without yeast in the cheese mixture. Yeast in hard Greek cheese gives the flavor a slight tang. Myzithra with yeast is often called sour myzithra. Other hard Greek cheeses include kefalotiri and metsovone.

The soft type of myzithra, also known as anthotyro, is fresh and unsalted, with a texture somewhat like cottage cheese or ricotta. It is often used as a dipping or spreading cheese or baked in cheese pies. Other soft Greek cheeses include katiki and touloumotyri.

Historians have largely credited Greece with the invention of the cheesecake, though early cheesecakes in Greece were often savory. In Greece, rather than cream cheese, traditional cheesecakes were often made with soaked hard cheeses. The types of cheeses used in cheesecakes made with Greek cheese can vary, but varieties of cheese generally used in the traditional Greek cheesecake recipes include feta and myzithra.

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ddljohn
Post 3

@literally45-- Kasseri is an aged cheese that's sort of like Parmesan. But it's not as dry as Parmesan and I think it may have a higher fat content. It's usually made from a combination of sheep and cow milk.

It's definitely suitable as an appetizer. You could serve it with bread or crackers and olives. You can also use Kasseri shredded in different dishes or sliced in sandwiches. It's a very delicious cheese.

There is also a young version of Kasseri that's softer and that melts. I believe it's one of the Greek grilling cheeses, but I think that aged Kasseri is the best.

literally45
Post 2

Has anyone tried Greek Kasseri? What does it taste like? Is it a suitable Greek cheese for appetizer?

ZipLine
Post 1

The Feta cheese sold in the States is usually very hard. If you try to cut it, it will become crumbly. When I visited Greece last summer, I saw this kind of Feta cheese, but I also saw softer varieties. There was one that I liked a lot. It was a semi-soft Feta with a fresh taste and creamier texture. It was very delicious.

It was served to me with fresh bread and olives at a restaurant as appetizer but I was told that it's also used in Greek cheese pastries. I wish I could find that kind of cheese here in the States.

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