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In German kitchens Feta cheese together with mozzarella and parmesan, it is a popular cheese when it comes to cooking with cheese. In addition to the salty-sour and at the same time spicy taste, this is also due to the fact that feta can be used both hot and cold and it is a wonderfully filling source of protein if you don't want meat. Since there are more and more vegetarians and flexitarians or people who want to eat “low carb” in the evening, this is it Feta cheese so successful. But be careful: what we sometimes think of as feta isn't one.

What is feta cheese?

Feta is a cheese made from sheep's milk or goat's milk that has been matured in brine. Feta means something like "the slice (cheese)" in Greek. Until 1997, brine cheeses that did not come from Greece and were made with cheaper cow's milk were also allowed to be called "feta". But that's over now.

According to the regulation of the EU Commission, since October 15, 2002, only white cheese matured in brine made from sheep and / or goat milk, which has been produced in Greece, has been allowed to bear the name "Feta". This gave the feta cheese the status of a protected designation of origin. The commission ruled at the time:

“The extensive grazing and migratory animal husbandry in Greece, which formed the key elements for keeping sheep and goats, made it possible to adapt to climatic fluctuations and their effects on the existing plant cover. This has led to the development of small native breeds of sheep and goats, which are very frugal and resistant and can survive in an environment in which feed is only available in limited quantities, but which gives the end product a special taste due to the special, extremely diverse flora and give smell. The above-mentioned interaction between the special natural and the special human factors, in particular the traditional production method, which must include a pressure-free drainage process, has given feta cheese an excellent international reputation ”.

Feta is still the most popular among the Greeks. According to figures from 2002, 73% of “Feta” cheese consumption is in Greece with an annual per capita consumption of 10.5 kg compared to an average annual per capita consumption of 1.76 kg in the rest of the EU -Countries.

What is the difference between sheep cheese, feta cheese and herder cheese?

Sheep cheeseAny cheese made from sheep's milk does not have to be brine cheese, but it can. Colloquially, this term has crept into us as a synonym for feta.
Feta cheese is pickled in brine as described and traditionally made from sheep's milk and / or goat's milk and may only be produced in Greece.
Herder cheese is mostly brine cheese made from cow's milk here in Germany.

How is feta cheese made?

The whey is removed from the curd. The separated whey is collected in order to make the brine from it. The brine continues to draw water out of the cheese. This gives the feta its semi-soft consistency and a strong salty taste. At the same time, the brine preserves the cheese. The cheese mass is then cut into the desired shape and the brine (approx. 15% salt content) poured over it. Completely covered in this brine, the cheese matures for up to 6 weeks in the absence of air at a temperature of 10 ° C.

Once opened, feta cheese quickly becomes acidic when it comes into contact with oxygen. You can therefore store feta in a well-sealable container for a few days. To do this, cover it with liquid - half water, half milk.

Valuable food - nutritional values ​​feta cheese

Despite 45% fat in the dry matter, its absolute fat content of around 23 g per 100 g is lower than that of other types of cheese and with only 275 kcal, it is ideal for a healthy, conscious diet. Feta is pure protein with around 16g per 100g. For everyone who values ​​“low carb” (<1g KH per 100g), they are the ideal protein supplier instead of meat or fish.

Recipe: gratinated feta cheese, Greek style

Ingredients: Greek style gratinated feta cheese (for a packet)

  • 1 feta cheese (200g)
  • a third of a zucchino
  • half a yellow pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 6 black olives
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, black pepper from the mill

Preparation: gratinated feta cheese, Greek style

  1. Step: Preheat the baking sheet on the middle rack, oven
  2. Step: Double-fold aluminum foil and form a bowl out of it. Place the feta cheese in the bowl
  3. Step: Clean and wash the zucchino, bell pepper and onion and dice very finely
  4. Step: Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes, cut the spring onions and olives into rings
  5. step: Pour all ingredients over the feta, pepper and drizzle with olive oil and form everything into a closed package
  6. Step: Place the parcel on the hot baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes. Good Appetite!

In summer, fill up the parcel with fresh herbs from the garden such as rosemary, thyme or sage and place on the grill. Ideal for vegetarians or as an accompaniment to meat.

Sources: Feta Directive EU Commission

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Mel - loves cheese, wine and good conversation, takes photos with a Canon EOS 600D, lives in Hamburg, doesn't give a damn about calories, is always on the lookout for food of exceptional quality and looks forward to emails: [email protected] You can also find Mel on Google+ and Facebook

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