The Many Faces of Feta
On the mainland and on many of the Greek islands, fresh and aged feta varieties are uniquely made in each village using sheep’s and/or goat’s milk, so the varieties are seemingly endless. The animals are grass fed and graze freely, producing milk of the highest quality. Many of these varieties are commercially-produced and exported, becoming more and more available in specialty markets, gourmet shops, Greek/Mediterranean stores and supermarkets throughout the United States. A few of them can also be ordered online!
This week the Greek feta cheese plate is on Kukla’s Kouzina’s table with details about each variety (featured in our cookbooks), including how they can be used. A list of places where you can purchase these feta cheeses follows.
FETA (φέτα) pronounced FEH-tah
(sheep’s and/or goat’s milk, aged and kept in a salty whey brine for at least two months)
Soft-creamy to semi-firm, flavor ranges from moderately salty to salty-peppery-sharp
Arahova (sheep’s milk): semi-firm, sharp, a bit salty, peppery. Great for crumbling in a salad, serving sliced with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and kalamata olives, baking in a pita, and frying (as in saganaki, where feta is sautéed in olive oil, flamed with liquor, and sprinkled with lemon juice).
Bulgarian (sheep’s and/or goat’s milk): semi-firm, tangy, salty. Great in a salad, serving sliced, for baking, and frying.
Dodoni (sheep’s milk): firm, salty. Great in a salad, serving sliced, for baking, and frying.
French (sheep’s milk): soft to semi-firm, creamy, mildest of the feta family. This feta is perfect for serving fresh in salads, crumbled in an omelet, or sliced on an appetizer (meze) plate.
If you’re in the New York City area, you can find these feta varieties (and more Greek cheeses) at the following markets (you might be able to order by phone or their websites may also offer them):
25-56 31st Street
Astoria, NY, 11102
Mediterranean Foods (2 locations)
30-12 34th Street
Astoria, NY 11103
22-78 35th Street
Astoria, NY 11105
115 Broadway (RT 107)
Hicksville, NY 11801
If you don’t live near these markets but have a Greek Orthodox church nearby, chances are they know of a Greek/Mediterranean shop in the area.
Online shopping is the next best thing (or maybe the first, depending on if you have a nearby market available). Here’s where you can find Greek cheese, as well as other foods and items:
Costco, select locations (Dodoni feta), and from Instacart
I hope you enjoyed our celebration of feta. This prized cheese will be featured in recipes in our Meze and Spreads & Dips cookbooks, available on Amazon!
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
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