Feta is a ‘gift of the gods’
Cheesemaking was a gift of the gods, according to Greek mythology, while the Cyclops’ cave in Homer’s Odyssey was filled with a sheeps cheese believed to be the forerunner of Feta. The ancient cheese was in danger of losing its identity in the 1990s when it was industrially produced across Europe. But after a long campaign, Greece secured a PDO for the cheese in 2002 meaning Feta can now only be made in Greece with sheep and goats’ milk. The hardy animals roam the
mountainous landscape grazing on a diverse range of plants, which is expressed in creamy, fragrant milk. Feta is made following the soft cheese process. The curd is cut and may be stirred before acidification in the mould during draining. Most cheeses are salted and matured in brine, but some traditional versions are dry salted in barrels – the salt drawing whey from the cheese which forms the brine.
Eating Feta PDO at Christmas
Feta for Christmas, seems an unlikely choice, but after a little over indulgence a refreshing feta salad could be the perfect balance. To move things up a notch, try drizzling with honey and a sprinkle of fresh thyme.