How should one consume cheese?

Cheese specialists say that cheese should be eaten raw, as an accompaniment to meals, at breakfast or in salads. Some cheeses though are equally tasty when baked, such as Feta, GOAT CHEESE, Graviera and Kefalotiri. Others can be cooked, with other ingredients, in sauces, various pies, even cakes. These are Feta, Zimithra and Logadi. One should keep in mind that hardness, taste, texture and salt content vary between cheeses; one must therefore be careful when choosing cheese for cooking.

Which is the correct way to cut cheese?

Special cheese knives, found in home-ware stores and in the home-ware sections of large supermarkets, have two small prongs at the end that help in the serving of small pieces of cheese. Depending on the kind of cheese you may need a serrated or a plain cheese knife. What is also useful is a cheese board both for cutting and serving.

One can cut cheese in various shapes: slices are very common and so are wedges and cubes. Had cheeses, such as kefalograviera, graviera and Kefalotiri can of course be grated.

How does one serve cheese?

We eat cheese everyday at the family table but it can also be served on special occasions, more “formally”. As cheese is kept in the fridge, often in a special container, for everyday use you just bring out the container, cut as much cheese as wanted and then return the container to the fridge at the end of every meal. If you do not have a special container you may keep cheese well wrapped in plastic wrap. For a formal occasion, when you are serving more than one cheese, you will need a large cheese board or platter with enough space for at least 4 large pieces of cheese.

Cheese should ideally be served at room temperature, to fully enjoy its aroma and taste; this means it should be taken out of the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before serving, with the exception of white cheeses that only need 10 minutes at room temperature or their texture spoils and they may sour.

How does one store cheese?

You should ideally consume the cheese you buy within 2-3 days. If you do not go to the supermarket very often or want to have cheese in the house at all times, it’s best to buy branded, vacuum-packed yellow cheese or white cheese pre-packed in brine.

Cheese needs to be sealed in plastic wrap to protect it from drying up and from absorbing other smells in the fridge. The alternative is a dedicated cheese container; soft and hard cheese should be stored separately at all times. Every time you want to use some cheese, cut as much as you need and then wrap the remainder carefully and put it back in the fridge. Remember not to pack things too tightly in the refrigerator, leaving space among containers so that the cool air can flow unimpeded.

The secrets of Epiros Concentrated Butter

Is it best to use EPIROS Concentrated Butter as soon as I remove it from the refrigerator?

No. It’s best to leave it outside the fridge before using it, letting it soften on its own. Only when one is making the traditional Christmas treat “kourabies” is it recommended to beat the butter cold – congealed – with the confectioner’s sugar.

Is EPIROS Concentrated Butter appropriate for any baked good or just the traditional Greek ones?

EPIROS Concentrated Butter can be generally used in baking without a problem. One could in fact partly replace regular butter with EPIRUS butter in most recipes in order to give the cakes a more intense aroma.

Cakes in particular taste great when brushed with EPIROS Concentrated Butter as soon as they come out of the oven as it is absorbed immediately leaving just its characteristic smell. When mixed in the dough for any type of sweet bread (such as tsoureki or vassilopitta) or brioches it produces very aromatic results.

What kinds of cheese are there?

Cheese can be classified in different groups according to:

• The provenance of the milk i.e. sheep’s, cow’s, goat’s or a combination of these (such as Feta that is produced from sheep’s and goat’s milk).

• Their composition and their levels of humidity: hard (e.g. Kefalograviera), semi-hard (e.g. Kasseri) and soft (e.g. Anthotiro (soft whey cheese))

• Their fat content: full fat or low fat (light)

• Their origin (where they are produced): e.g. Mytilene Kasseri or Cretan Graviera.

The Decalogue of good Feta

1. The name Feta is recognized as Controlled Designation of Origin (PDO).

2. It has to be produced exclusively from fresh pasteurized sheep’s milk or a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk.

3. Feta should be bright white. Its texture, when cutting it, should be compact not crumbly, it should have few holes and a rich aroma.

4. When eaten Feta should melt nicely in the mouth leaving a pleasant, characteristic taste.

5. At points of sale Feta should be kept in a refrigerated space at 2-6° C.

6. Its salt content should be high enough to give it its characteristic tastiness; too much salt usually hides something…

7. You should be very cautious when you find Feta sold at a price that is considerable lower than the market median. Remember that price is dependent on quality.

8. When purchasing pre-packed Feta always check the packaging; it should be sealed and airtight. Also, make sure the expiration date is at least a month away which means the cheese will be fresh.

9. As all cheeses Feta is at its best for a short period of time. This is why it is better to buy it in small quantities that will be consumed in a few days or else to buy branded pre-packed Feta from the supermarket.

10. Always ask for Feta by name as this means you are buying cheese whose quality is guaranteed by the producer. Choose Feta that is produced in metal containers over the one that is produced wooden barrels as this production method is more hygienic, safe and clean.

How long does it take Feta to mature?

According to the law Feta should mature for at least 2 months. The maturing process takes place is special areas whose temperature is 2-4° C and humidity around 98%. At EPIRUS we have conducted research that shows that after 2-3 months of maturing Feta has the optimum taste, aroma and texture.

What should I do with moldy cheese?

If the mold is on the surface you can remove it with a knife (to be on the safe side remove 1cm from the surface of yellow cheese and 2cm from white cheese) and eat it immediately. If you leave the cheese in the fridge after having removed the mold, it will become moldy again faster.

flag flag flag flag flag flag