A staple ingredient in Greek food, feta cheese is great in salads, as a dip for olives, or even just by itself. We all know that it tastes amazing, but what gives feta that unique flavour and, what are the health benefits of eating feta? Here are a few facts that may surprise you about this most beloved Greek cheese.
What is Feta?
The word feta comes from an ancient Greek word meaning slice. It is a brined curd white cheese usually made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk, giving it a signature tangy flavour. It is a skinless aged cheese that commonly comes soaked in brine in a square block. It can be eaten on its own, crumbled into salads (the classic Greek salad being the best example), or baked into pastries such as spanakopita.
How Is It Made?
Feta is a protected designation of origin product, which means that it can only be called feta if it’s made in Greece. Many cheeses are produced similarly, but if it’s not made in Greece, it’s not feta. Also, it can only contain a maximum of 30% goat’s milk or else it’s not technically considered feta either. Making feta is a long and complex process that requires the cheese to cure in brine for at least a couple of months.
Feta not only tastes great; it’s also a beneficial part of any diet. Feta contains calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth, promotes heart health, and supports muscle strength. A single ounce serving of feta will cover 14% of your recommended daily calcium intake. It also contains vitamin B12, which increases energy and keeps red blood cells healthy. Feta does contain sodium, and so it shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities. However, feta does have a lower sodium and fat content than most cheeses, so it makes a great healthy alternative to many common dairy products.
Feta is a delicious salty cheese that is a hallmark of any Greek restaurant. If your stomach is grumbling for a dish that features feta, contact us at Greek on Wheels for some tasty Greek take out or delivery and let us satisfy your craving.