Soft and brined cheese soaked is soaked in salty water to last longer. It has different textures, colours, and flavours. When it’s fresh, it’s salty and acidic; when it’s aged, it becomes tangy.
Soft and brined cheese is matured in a salty water solution, which lasts longer and prevents bacteria from growing on it, especially in hot countries. Some might call it pickled cheese. Brined cheese can be soft or hard and has different colours and flavours depending on the milk used. Still, it’s usually white, clean-tasting, salty, and acidic when fresh. When aged, it develops a tangy taste. Brined cheese is very common in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.
Feta is a famous Greek cheese made for a very long time. It is usually square or triangular and kept fresh in brine-filled containers. It is sold after about 2 months of maturation in the brine. Feta is Greece’s most commonly consumed cheese and is sometimes called ‘the princess of cheeses.’ Only certain cheeses made in specific parts of Greece with particular milk can be called feta cheese because it’s protected by EU law. Similar white, salty cheeses are made in other areas around Greece and the Black Sea, sometimes called Feta. Traditional Feta cheese is white, made with sheep or a mixture of sheep and goat milk, and is brined. Feta-style cheese made with cow’s milk can be found in stores outside Greece and made with pasteurized milk. Feta cheese can be firm or soft and has different qualities depending on its texture.
Characteristics & Tasting Notes
Feta is a type of white cheese that is soft and has few cuts or holes. It is usually sold in large blocks that are kept in brine. Feta cheese is very salty, and its taste can be pretty intense. When slicing it, it may crumble. It’s often used for pies. The way Feta cheese tastes depends on where it comes from. Some areas make it creamier and less salty, while others make it more intense and robust. The texture of Feta cheese can also vary from creamy to dry and crumbly. Feta is a pickled cheese; its taste is salty and tangy due to the brine. The flavour and texture of Feta cheese are affected by the local environment, animal breeds, and cultures where it is made.
Serving Suggestions & Food Pairings
Feta cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be added to many dishes, such as salads (e.g. the Greek salad horiatiki), pasta, pizza, and vegetable dishes. The cheese goes well with olive oil, roasted peppers, and nuts and can be a salty alternative to other cheeses. Feta is commonly served on cheese platters, sliced thinly, or crumbled over various dishes. It can also be grilled, served in omelets, or used in sandwich making. If you find it salty, you can wash the cheese under water. It is often used in traditional Greek dishes such as the popular phyllo-based dishes spanakopita (“spinach pie”), tyropita (“cheese pie”), Ajapsandali (a famous Georgian stew consisting of eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and seasonings such as bay leaves, garlic, coriander, black pepper, and salt), Paximadi (a famous Georgian stew consisting of eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, seasonings such as bay leaves, garlic, coriander, black pepper, and salt), and Sofegada (a hearty vegetable stew made with any seasonal vegetables). Try serving these dishes with crumbled feta or mizithra cheese on top or on the side. Overall, feta cheese is a tasty and valuable addition to many dishes.
If you like salty Feta cheese, then you should have a light Greek wine or Beaujolais, which are both bright red wines. Other good drinks to have with Feta are Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and beer.
If you don’t have feta cheese, you can substitute:
- Ricotta Salata
Some recipes recommend goat cheese as an alternative to feta cheese for cooks who can’t find the real thing. Although feta cheese isn’t predominantly goat cheese, some goat cheeses can be similar in appearance or texture to Feta. For instance, Bryndza, a sheep or goat cheese common in Russia and Slovakia, is similar in taste and consistency.
Best wine pairing
White wine: Assyrtiko, Mantinia, Patras, Retsina, Riesling, Alsace Riesling, Chardonnay, Muscat, Muscat of Samos, Sauvignon Blanc/Fume Blanc, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio, Alsace Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc Demi Sec
Red wine: Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Naoussa Xinomavro, Merlot, Brunello di montalcino, Burgundy, Gamay
Sparkling wine: Champagne
Pine nuts, watermelon, Fruity Greek Olive Mix, Eliá Kalamatas, Kalamata olive oil, roasted red peppers, nuts and Avocado toast or olives sprinkled with aromatic herbs such as oregano.
Fresh, soft, brined
Creamy, crumbly, grainy and open
Min. 3 months
Full-flavoured, very intense, fresh, salty, tangy
Source of milk
Sheep milk or a mixture of Sheep (≥70%) and goat per PDO (Protected designation of origin); similar cheeses may contain cow or buffalo milk.
Country of origin
These tips are from my own experience;
I’m neither a party organizer, a sommelier, nor a turophile (a cheese connoisseur).
I just love cheese, wine and spending time with family and friends.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to host a wine and cheese party with a handful of close friends.
If you use my tips for your next Wine & Cheese party, please comment below and remember to take a picture, tag @Fast2eat.com and use #Fast2eat so that we can both marvel at how easy it was!
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.
Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!