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The Ultimate Guide to Greek Cheeses - The Classics

3 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Greek Cheeses - The Classics

If you've ever visited Greece, you know it's practically a cheese paradise, with each region having its own special variety. In this guide, we have gathered our favorite classic cheeses from all around Greece and the best pairing suggestions for the ultimate Greek cheeseboard and elevated snacks!

Let's start with the famous one, Feta!

A beloved classic, feta cheese is renowned for its tangy flavor and crumbly texture. Pair it with juicy watermelon or ripe tomatoes for a refreshing salad, or enjoy it alongside Kalamata olives and crusty bread for a simple yet satisfying snack. You can also serve it with thyme honey and sesame seeds for a sweet and savory appetizer or Roasted Red Peppers from Tragano Greek Organics and pita chips for a delicious mezze platter - the possibilities are endless!

Find more recipes with Feta here like this Eggplant and Zucchini pasta and try the delicious Tomato and Feta Flavor Burst from Elli&Manos for the ultimate Mediterranean taste.

agrozimi hilopites with zucchini and eggplant

Halloumi

Halloumi is actually a Cypriot cheese and has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, meaning that only approved producers from Cyprus can market the cheese under that name. This semi-hard ancient* cheese, made from combination of cow and sheep's milk, boasts a unique texture that holds up very well to grilling or frying. Serve grilled halloumi with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a delicious appetizer, or pair it with dried Kimi figs from Kumilio or grapes for a delightful contrast of flavors.

*There are references to Halloumi dating back to the Byzantine era. 

Georgeeats honey haloumi recipe

Kasseri

Kasseri is another cheese with PDO status, this time from Northern Greece. It's traditionally made with sheep's milk and has a mild, salty and slightly nutty taste. Kasseri is perfect for melting so you can use it in sandwiches or quesadillas for a creamy addition, or pair it with slices of apple or pear and walnuts for a sweet and savory treat. It's also a great option to complement your Greek wine and cheese nights, alongside the Fig and Walnuts spread from Elli&Manos.

 

fig and walnut spread cheese board

Graviera

Graviera is the second most popular cheese in Greece (after feta of course!). This hard cheese, usually made from unpasteurized sheep's milk, offers a rich and savory flavor with hints of caramel and nuts. First produced in 1914 in the Peloponnese, graviera cheese is now made throughout Greece (the aged graviera from Naxos is my favorite). Grate graviera over pasta, risotto or trahana soup for a flavorful twist, or enjoy it with quince paste for an elegant cheese board accompaniment. 

Traditional trahana soup from Agrozimi  Edit alt text

Manouri

Known for its delicate and creamy texture, manouri cheese is a versatile option that pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors. It's actually a by-product of feta production and has a PDO status, primarily produced in central and northern Greece. Spread manouri on toast and top with flower honey (try this Thyme & Lavender honey from Mouriki) and walnuts for a decadent breakfast or dessert, or serve it grilled with vegetables for a light and satisfying meal. It works great in cheesecake recipes as well!

manouri salad akis petretzikis recipe

Kefalotyri

Kefalotyri is another cheese dating back to the Byzantine era and is similar to Pecorino. This hard cheese boasts a sharp and salty flavor that adds depth to a variety of dishes. You can fry it to make saganaki, grate it as a topping for pastitsio or moussaka for a burst of flavor, or pair it with slices of ripe melon or prosciutto for a delicious appetizer. Combine it with fresh fruit and red wine for an easy cheeseboard night or with Bergamot Spoon Sweet from Citrus for a sweet and tangy combination.

Citrus Bergamot Fruit Preserve (Spoon Sweet) - Small-batch, Handmade in Chios, Greece
Stay tuned for part II of our Cheese Guide, where we'll talk about specialty and gourmet cheeses from different regions of Greece. 

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