This page provides some information about different types of Greek cheese and the methods used in their production.
You can buy our Greek Cheeses online at the Odysea Greek food shop.
Feta from Roussas Dairy
The majority of our cheese is produced at the Rousas Dairy in Almyros, central Greece. The greater area of Almyros is surrounded my mountains, where the shepherds graze their herds in the summertime, returning to the valley for protection during the winter. The huge flora variation that this offers the herds to graze on is evident in the unique aroma of the milk and cheeses produced at Roussas.
The Roussas family is justifiably proud of its dairy-producing heritage. The family traces its roots back to the nomadic Sarakastani tribes, famous for their dairy producing skills, who once roamed the mountains of Thessay, Macedonia and Epirus to graze their herds of sheep and goats.
In 1989 The Roussas family practice was formally incorporated as a family owned business and they built a state-of-the-art dairy in Almyros. Despite this transition from a small family run business to one of Greece’s largest traditional and organic cheese producers Roussas’ mission remains strong and steadfast: to produce authentic Greek cheese and dairy products of premium quality. The mainstay of this mission is the use of only the purest ingredients. Roussas are able to ensure this by keeping strong links with the shepherd families of the region that supply them with fresh milk from free-ranging herds. This purity of authentic ingredients coupled with stringent food safety measures and quality control produces products of exceptional taste and quality.
Roussas "Feta of Almyros" is a traditional product with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. This means that the cheese is produced exclusively using fresh Greek sheep and goat's milk. The milk from this region is renowned for its quality due to the rich, aromatic flora upon which the herds graze. The Roussas dairy itself is run by third generation Feta manufacturers.
At Roussas Dairy Feta cheese production begins the morning after the herds have been milked. Feta cheese is made from sheep’s' milk, as well as up to 30% goat’s milk. The sheep and goat’s milk is pasteurised, then rennet and yoghurt culture are both added to the pasteurised milk to form cheese. The feta cheese is then placed in rectangular moulds, salted and transferred into tins. It is left to mature for at least 2 months to allow it to develop all of its aroma and flavour characteristics.
Barrelled Feta cheese
Barreled feta is fundamentally a more authentic and traditional method of feta maturation. The feta goes through the same production process as before, but it is formed in wedge shaped moulds this time. It is then taken out of the moulds and packed tightly into beech wood barrels with dry sea salt. No brine is added to the barrel and the feta is left to mature in its own juices. Again, it matures for at least two months; this method creates a more intense, slightly spicy flavour.
After the maturation process is complete, feta is best stored in brine to promote its delicious creamy texture.
Other Greek Cheeses
- Please contact us if you are interested in buying any of these other cheeses
Manouri is a whey cheese. Fresh sheep’s cream is added to the solids of the Feta whey and then is moulded into a sausage like shape. Manouri is a rich, creamy cheese, it has a high fat content and a subtle flavour with very little salt. In Greece it is usually served as a dessert cheese, but is also eaten for breakfast with honey.
Kasseri is a traditional Greek cheese of "pasta filata" type, which has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. It is manufactured from sheep and goat’s milk from Macedonia, Thessalia, and the island of Mitilini. Kasseri is a semi-hard yellow cheese, which is consumed as a table cheese.
Galotiri is one of the oldest traditional cheeses of Greece and has Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. It is manufactured from ewes' and goat’s milk, or a mixture of the two, in the regions of Epirus and Thessalia. It has a soft and spreadable texture with sour notes and a very pleasant, refreshing taste. Galotiri is also consumed as a table cheese.
Graviera is a hard table cheese, with a firm elastic texture and perforations. The cheese if produced traditionally from sheep's milk or from a mixture of sheep and goats' milk. It's flavour is rich yet mellow and slightly salty, with a hint of roasted nuts, fresh bread, butter and milk.
This cheese has a history dating back centuries and is one of the most well known of the Greek Graviera cheeses. The cheese is produced in large 10-12kg wheels, but can be cut into smaller pieces and vacuum packed.
Savoury Graviera - Small Traditional Cretan Graviera (PDO)
Savoury Graviera is a hard cheese produced in a 1.4-1.7kg wheel contained in natural casting. The texture is uniform and smooth with small holes, the cheese is creamy yellow in colour. Its texture is sharper, the taste more piquant, and the aroma more buttery than the larger Graveria described above.
Fresh Cretan Anthotyro
Anthotyro is a fresh Ricotta type cheese which is white in colour. It is made from the whey of Graviera, to which goats' milk is added. It has a soft, cohesive texture without holes and when fresh has a total life of 25 days. Its aroma is subtle, and its flavour is delicately milky and slightly sweet. It is used as a table cheese but also in cooking, especially in traditional Cretan recipes.
Dried Cretan Anthotyro
This is a dried and salted, hard version of the above with a total life of 6 months. It has a much stronger aroma and it is used as a table cheese, as well as being ideal for grating. One of the traditional wedding dishes in the area of Heraclion is pasta boiled in a goat and chicken broth with dried Anthotyro covering the top.
Fresh Cretan Cream Cheese
A traditional Cretan fresh, spreadable cheese, which is in fact a curd cheese made from goats' milk. The colour is white and the texture is soft and creamy. Its total life is 20 days. The aroma of this cheese is mild and it has a rich, slightly sharp, fresh milky flavour.
Ladotyri is a hard cheese made from sheep and goats' milk, it is shaped like a small head and weighs around 1kg. In order to be preserved it is placed in olive oil, sometimes this is done during its maturation period. It is usually of a light yellow colour and it has small irregular holes. The basic production and maturation is similar to that of Graviera.
Talagani is a 100% sheep’s milk cheese typically made by hand using traditional methods which include curing in brine. Often compared to halloumi, talagani has a superior, softer texture and a richer, creamier flavour which is offset by a delicate saltiness and subtle mint undertones. The flavour can be further enhanced by marinating it in olive oil and herbs before cooking. Like halloumi it is best grilled or fried and eaten straight away, when grilled it makes a welcome addition to fresh, green salads and roasted vegetables.