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Authentic Greek Feta, there is a difference

Greek cuisine is known the world around for its tasty flavors, vibrant colors, and fresh ingredients. While many other countries try to imitate Greek foods, they just can’t compare. In particular, feta cheese has been subject to many poor imposters leaving people with a bad taste in their mouths. With a history dating back to the 8th century B.C., Greeks have fair stake to their claim on feta cheese production. What is the difference between Greek feta and the rest? Let’s take a look:

Feta is Officially Greek

Did you know that “feta” is actually protected under a PDO or protected designation of origin in the European Union. After much debate, EU legislation granted this status to feta stating that products are officially only “feta” if they are made traditionally in specific areas of Greece using sheep’s milk and up to 30% of goat’s milk. Other countries had 5 years to rename their cheeses or to stop production. True feta made from mostly sheep milk is a salty and moderately flavored cheese with a distinctive flavor and texture.

Feta Cheese Imitations

As with many Greek foods, feta has become popular all over the world. It is not to hard understand why, as Mediterranean food is some of the best but you need to be careful about what you purchase. Many other countries make similar white brined cheeses, often using cow’s milk, which are more crumbly. There is also the addition of additives such as vegetable fat or protein, non-natural drainage, and the absence of the maturation process. These factors produce a cheese with a structure and taste that have nothing to do with feta. In the EU companies cannot call those products feta and resort to other names like Greek-style cheese or salad cheese. However, outside the EU, consumers face more uncertainty as imitators of true Greek feta cheese can sell their cheeses as feta.

Other Feta Simply Can’t Compete

Greek feta will only contain sheep milk, possibly goat milk, rennet and salt. Any other ingredients such as cow’s milk or vegetable fat are not true feta. In addition, the sheep and goats in Greece are breeds that cannot be found outside of the country. Their milk produces a specific flavor and texturedue to their digestive flora and the land they graze which simply cannot be replicated with any old livestock.

There simply is no comparison between true authentic Greek feta and the rest. Next time you want to whip up a Greek salad, a feta eggplant dip or any other delicious recipe using feta, be sure to check the label to ensure it is made in Greece. You can’t say you have eaten feta until you have eaten authentic Greek feta!

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