Feta’s Story – Origins & Traditions
Buying feta may have once been a simple task, but now we are more than likely overwhelmed with choice. Traditionally it was made in the peninsulas of Greece using sheep and goat milk. Now there is an abundance of flavours, textures and strengths varying through different origins, methods and age. Greece’s feta became a subject of controversy during a lengthy legal battle with Denmark, Germany and France and in 2002 Greece was granted Protection Designation of Origin status by the European Commission giving only them the rights to label their products ‘feta”.
‘Feta’ originates from the Italian word for ‘slice’ although it is popularly packaged into blocks. Often described as a cheese with character, it manages to stay rich and creamy while also maintaining a tangy and bright taste. It is often enhanced by brine solutions working well with olive oil, herbs, roasted red peppers and nuts. Feta is excellent for melting, can be easily mixed into many pasta or casserole dishes, always serves well as a garnish and works perfectly in salads or with fruit.
As a complex and ubiquitous cheese it can be used to light up any meal. Feta is used in many popular dishes, particularly delicious greek salads, spanakopita, or a classic spinach and feta scone. For a fresh and healthy alternative, try the ‘Feta and Watermelon Salad’ recipe below or for a seafood dish try our Prawn Saganaki recipe.
Undoubtedly one of the most famous Greek cheeses, feta with its easily recognised aroma and flavour has become a household necessity particularly for salads, pizzas and pastries. Its salty essence is perfectly paired with a glass of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. Either pop some feta on your next antipasto platter or try it in the recipes below.
The Rules of Feta
- Trust your instincts when it comes to how long your feta is lasting. It typically lasts a few months but if in doubt, chuck it out.
- If new to feta, take notice of the type you are buying to learn your preference. Traditional Greek Feta is typically a combination of sheep and goat whereas Traditional Bulgarian Feta uses goat milk for a saltier taste and Traditional French Feta uses sheep milk for a creamier and milder flavour.
- When buying feta you should maintain the brine or marinade to keep the life, taste and saltiness. You can replace the water, imitate the brine with salt dissolved into water, or maintain the marinade with olive oil.
- It is helpful to submerge the feta in liquid to restrict its contact with air which lengthens its life. Air can cause feta to dry out or turn sour.
Interesting Ways to Use our Feta products:
- Grill or roast winter vegetables such as zucchini, potato and kumara then sprinkle chunks of Dodini Feta on top while warm. Top with freshly chopped mint for a yummy meal.
- Make filo pastries filled with vegetables (spinach, tomato, zucchini etc.) and feta for a healthy snack.
- Feta is always a perfect addition to many pastas working well with our Food Snob Semi Dried Tomatoes and Food Snob Pitted Mixed Olives.
- Try lamb or chicken burgers stuffed with Egyptian Style Domyati Feta perfect for melting to create a new twist to your summer barbeque.
- Use our Food Snob Marinated Danish Feta in fresh salads with tomato, cucumber, olives and beetroot.