The Origin is Greek, The Name Is Italian
It’s all Greek to me! No, really it is!
I’m talking about feta, one of the most famous of Greek cheeses.
In fact, 70 percent of the cheese eaten in Greece is feta. Greeks are fiercely protective of their beloved feta which dates back to the 8th century B.C. and is written about in Homer’s The Odyssey.
While its origin is Greek, the name actually comes from the Italian word “fetta,” meaning “slice”. This is a reference to how the cheese is sliced and then placed in a brine.
To stay moist, feta needs to be stored in salted water. That’s why you’ll often see feta packed in a brine solution at the store. If you purchase a feta-style cheese not stored in a brine, simply cover it in a bit of olive oil to keep it moist.
Feta Cheese: Only From Greece
Anyone can make feta-style cheese, but the European Union has declared that only Greece can use the term feta because the cheese’s distinct aroma and flavor comes from the fauna of certain Greek regions, and milk of a specific breed of Greek sheep and goats.
For all of you cheese lovers out there, you may be happy to know that feta is considered to be one of the most nutrient rich cheeses. It is also a bit easier to digest than cheese made from cow’s milk.
With a history as rich as its taste, feta can be served raw as a table cheese, as a topper to a salad or an appetizer, or cooked into a dish. My next segment will feature a recipe where feta is the star of the show.
Polyphemus Also Had A Taste For Feta
In the meantime, enjoy some feta at your next meal and explore Homer’s Odyssey and how the man-eating, one-eyed clyops Polyphemus also had a taste for feta.