Feta cheese is a traditional Greek cheese made on the basis of sheep’s with the addition of whole goat milk. Distinctive features of the product are pronounced salty taste, dense and crumbling structure.
Feta is produced on the island of Lesbos, on the territory of the mainland Peloponnese, Epirus. In the highlands, goats and sheep walk freely around the pastures, consuming wild herbs. As a result, their milk acquires the aroma and flavor of fragrant thyme, marjoram, which determines the expressiveness and piquancy of the product. In addition, soft snow-white cheese is made in the Mediterranean countries, Southeast Europe, in the Middle East - in Croatia, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Israel, Egypt, Bosnia.
Translated from the Greek language "feta" means "break". Indeed, semi-hard cheese is made in one large piece, weighing up to 1.5 kg. Therefore, it is broken to distribute portions. The first mention of soft salty cheese was discovered in Homer's works "Odyssey." This is a fairly satisfying product with a fat content of 40-60%.
Interestingly, mold is not used in the production of feta cheese. Instead, manufacturers sometimes introduce leaven enriched with lactobacilli. Currently, the cheese is kept in saline for at least 3 months.
Greek cheese goes well with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil and olives. The brackish taste of feta with light milk sourness is favorably emphasized by red wine, fragrant bread, sweet grapes, seafood and herbs: spinach, rosemary, mint and oregano. The color of the finished product depends on the type of raw material used in the production process and can vary from ivory (sheep's milk) to snow-white (goat).
Feta is stored in brine in the refrigerator, sold in vacuum packages or by weight. The shelf life of the opened product is 5 days at a temperature of up to 5 degrees. Cheese in a vacuum can be stored for up to 90 days, provided that the container is not leakproof. When yellowness appears on the surface of a piece or an unpleasant odor, the use of feta should be discarded.
Remember, a spoiled product is a danger to human health, as it causes poisoning, disrupts the digestive tract, worsening overall well-being.
Feta is one of the most dietary varieties of cheese. In one portion of the product (28 g), only 6 g of fat and 74 kcal are concentrated, while in brie - 8 g and 94 kcal, and in the cheddar - 9 g and 113 kcal, respectively. In 100 g of feta, 264 kcal is concentrated. Cheese does not contain carbohydrates that are converted to fat, therefore it is indicated for use by people suffering from obesity, diabetes mellitus, heart disease and pancreas.
Feta provides special benefits to people with listeria, constipation, as it helps to normalize stool.
The indisputable advantages of Greek cheese include a high content of calcium (493 mg / 100 g - 49.3% of the daily intake), phosphorus (337 mg - 42.1%), riboflavin (0.844 mg - 46.9%) and cyanocobalamin ( 0.00169 mg - 56.3%).
|Components||Content in 100 g of product, g|
|Saturated Fatty Acids||14,946|
|Essential Amino Acids||7,234|
|Essential Amino Acids||7,229|
|Name||Nutrient content in 100 g of product, mg|
|Pantothenic Acid (B5)||0,967|
|Folic Acid (B9)||0,032|
Interestingly, the flavor of feta cheese exhibits the properties of an aphrodisiac. Because of what, the product is invariably present on the wedding table.
According to world statistics, the laurels of the championship in the consumption of cheese belong to the Greeks - 23 kg per person per year, with 12 kg of them in feta. The second place is given to the French - 22 kg, the third - to the Germans, 10 kg. It is interesting that different countries produce their own unique cheese: in Germany - altenburger, Spain - Burgos, Italy - mozzarella, Denmark - danabl. At the same time, Greek feta is recognized by rawhideans from around the world for its beneficial properties and unique taste. This is a soft, salty white product prepared by fermenting sheep’s (70%) and goat’s (30%) milk with rennet. The raw materials used must be natural, without preservatives and dyes, foreign additives.
The technological process of feta production consists of the following stages: pasteurization, homogenization, fermentation, separation of whey from the soft cheese fraction, pressing, salting, packaging.
Goat and sheep milk are mixed, observing the indicated proportions, and renin is added. From it a mass is formed that resembles cottage cheese in consistency. The resulting milk mixture is flavored with coarse sea salt, placed in molds, left for several days.
Formed pieces of feta are transferred to wooden barrels with brine, where they are kept for at least 3 months, and then packaged in plastic containers, hermetically sealed or in tin containers with a heat-sealable plate and a clamping lid of 250, 500, 1000 g.
Currently, the cheese production process is fully mechanized. From 5.5 liters of milk, up to 1 kg of feta is obtained.
In the manufacturing process, feta uses a bacterial starter culture of microorganisms, which enriches the cheese with valuable probiotic cultures. They, in turn, can get rid of listeriosis, food poisoning, pathogenic intestinal flora. In addition, tryptophan, an amino acid involved in the production of serotonin, the “hormone of happiness,” was found in Greek cheese. In addition to improving mood, it improves immunity, performance, normalizes sleep.
What is the use of feta
Regulates blood pressure, strengthens bones, teeth, prevents the formation of kidney stones, reduces the risk of developing myocardial infarction, increases immune defense, participates in oxygen transportation.
Prevents premature aging, osteoporosis, fights migraines. Protects against cancer and improves eyesight. Reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, which threatens the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiac diseases.
Improves the digestive tract, weakens the effects of food poisoning, neutralizes toxic substances. The sour-milk bacteria that make up the cheese have an anti-inflammatory effect on the walls of the stomach and intestines.
It supplies the body with a highly nutritious protein that is completely absorbed by the human body. To meet the daily protein requirements, it is recommended to eat 200 g of cheese per day. Interestingly, feta is superior to meat in protein content.
Reduces the impact of stress factors. According to recent scientific experiments, it was found that with regular use of 5 servings of dairy products (140 g) per day, the process of losing fat deposits in the abdominal cavity is accelerated.
Thus, feta is an indispensable product for weight loss. Greek cheese contains calcium and conjugated linoleic acid, the latter, in turn, improves the absorption of macronutrients by the body, which stimulates the breakdown of fats.
Greek cheese is a source of saturated fat, which can provoke the development of heart disease. In addition, feta contains a lot of salt due to the constant presence in a concentrated solution. To neutralize the excess sodium chloride, a piece of cheese should be soaked in milk or water for 10 minutes before use.
Despite this procedure, salt still remains in the product. Its excess provokes the appearance of hypertension, overloads the heart, kidneys, contributes to the narrowing of blood vessels, making blood flow difficult. As a result, internal organs, in particular, the lungs and brain, "lack oxygen", which leads to the development of stroke, asthma, heart failure.
With excessive use of feta (more than 400 g per day), a person begins to feel thirsty, and the fluid in the body lingers, which leads to shortness of breath, weight gain, the appearance of the so-called orange peel in problem areas.
Currently, manufacturers of pseudo Greek cheese often use pasteurized cow's milk saturated with antibiotics or genetically engineered growth hormones, which pose a danger to human health, during the manufacturing process.
Contraindications to the use of feta: coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, type 2 diabetes mellitus, arthritis, predisposition to obesity, allergy to fermented milk products, gastrointestinal tract diseases, kidney diseases, arterial hypertension.
In different countries, soft feta cheese is made from goat, sheep, and cow's milk. Cheese has a soft structure with mechanical voids, ripens in brine. The advantages of a product prepared independently at home are profitability, high quality, confidence in the benefits of feta through the use of natural raw materials.
At present, Greek cheese outside the country is mainly made from cow or milk powder, yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir. Of course, these recipes can not be considered classics. In the traditional version, feta is made exclusively from sheep’s milk (70%), to which goat is added (30%). Consider the simplest and most affordable recipes for preparing a home product.
Cow's milk feta
- pepsin - 8 tablets;
- boiled water - 50 ml;
- sour cream - 200 g;
- homemade milk - 2000 ml.
Milk is divided into 2 parts (200 ml and 1800 ml): mix the first with sour cream, the second - heat to 38 degrees. Remove the stewpan from the heat. Pour diluted sour cream into warm milk with a thin stream, stirring the mass intensively with a whisk.
Heat water, dissolve pepsin tablets. Pour the enzymatic liquid into the milk-sour cream mixture and leave overnight. Drain the resulting serum.
Put the prepared mass in a sieve with a fine fraction, leave to drain for 2 hours. Then put in a linen bag, on top of which put a load weighing 3 kg. Weight must be under oppression for at least 8 hours. Open the bag, put the cheese in a dish, cut into portions.
If during the preparation the feta density is insufficient, it is rubbed with salt and left for 5 hours. Thus, sodium chloride will help remove excess fluid from the product. In this case, it should be borne in mind that the cheese will turn out more salty.
If feta is very friable and dense, it is placed in salted cold water or whey for 1 hour.
Store ready-made soft cheese in brine. The principle of its preparation: dissolve 5-7 g of sea salt in 200 ml of serum or water. Feta is placed in brine, where it is aging noble. The shelf life of a home product is 10 days.
Homemade feta cheese from cottage cheese
- fat-free cottage cheese - 1 kg;
- salt - 3 g.
Mix the ingredients, wrap in cling film, leave in the refrigerator for 3 days. Put salted cottage cheese under the press, leave for 1 day. As a result, it acquires a denser structure, resembles feta in taste. If desired, ground spices can be added to the product to improve the aroma: cumin, dill.
Remember, feta cooked in industrial and home conditions differs in structure, taste and aroma. Do not try to get an identical product yourself, this is impossible. The quality of the finished cheese directly depends on the quality of the raw materials.
Feta is used as an independent product or introduced into pizza, snacks and salads, added to seafood, fish, meat dishes. From soft cheese, combined with herbs, prepare a traditional Italian filling for baking pies.
How to choose
Feta is a dietary product that is less caloric than other types of cheese due to its high water content. It is recommended to introduce it in programs to reduce body weight (for example, the Ducan system).
Nutrition value of different varieties of cheese (in 100 g):
- "Parmesan" - 392 kcal;
- "Swiss", 50% - 391 kcal;
- Cheddar, 50% - 380 kcal;
- "Russian", 50% - 364 kcal;
- Gouda - 356 kcal;
- "Dutch", 45% - 350 kcal;
- "Roquefort", 50% - 335 kcal;
- "Camembert" - 324 cal;
- Suluguni - 286 kcal;
- "Adygea" and "Feta" - 264 kcal;
- Brynza - 260 kcal.
Interestingly, in the homeland, Greek Feta cheese is considered a traditional product that is present on every table like bread, regardless of the dish that is served. It is eaten with legumes, olives, herbs, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, cereals and even fruits, berries, in particular with melon and watermelon.
What to look for when choosing a feta
Remember, real feta is made exclusively in Greece, which is a guarantee of the naturalness of the product. The package should contain the inscription "Feta Cheese". In no case may it indicate a brine or cheese product.
In the classical recipe, only rennet, salt, sheep or goat milk is used in the cheese production process. There should not be any other ingredients in the product. This is particularly true for cow's milk. Otherwise, the feta will leave an unpleasant aftertaste, have a sour smell, it is easy to crumble. Properly cooked feta has a white color. A yellowish hue indicates that the product was not stored in brine for some time, but was in the air. Cheese should not be bitter or sour. Depending on the type, the taste of feta can be spicy, more or less salty.
The surface of the cheese should be in holes, cracks. Depending on the production technology and the duration of pressing, the product can be of the following structure: soft, medium hard, hard. In this case, what kind of cheese to give an advantage depends on the individual preferences of the buyer. The packaging must bear the “P.D.O. Protected Designation of Origin” mark confirming that the product is protected by European law. Quality feta cheese improves the functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive systems, has a beneficial effect on blood composition, reduces the level of emotionality, and relieves insomnia and depression. Recommended for daily use.
Feta cheese or feta
Among the wide range of vegetable snacks, Greek salad is especially popular. An essential ingredient in the dish is feta. At the same time, most housewives prefer to replace cheese with ordinary cheese. Are these products analogues? Consider the similarities and fundamental differences between them.
Brynza - cheese made from cow's, goat's or sheep’s milk, aged in brine. It has a pronounced sour-milk smell, moderately salty, has a white color with a yellow tint. Homeland - Eastern Europe. In the production process, the feta cheese is not subjected to significant heat treatment, the soaking duration is 20-60 days.
Feta is a semi-hard cheese made on the basis of goat's, sheep’s milk. The structure visually resembles pressed cottage cheese. It has a salty taste with a slight acidity.
The composition of feta and feta cheese can not include any vegetable fats and oils. Only natural milk triglycerides are present in the cheese.
Difference between products
- Producing country. Feta - Greek cheese, feta cheese - Romanian.
- Colour. Feta is characterized by a snow-white color, feta cheese has a slightly yellowish tint.
- Structure. Feta has a delicate and soft texture on the surface of which there are recesses, cracks. Brynza - hard but brittle cheese without holes.
- Storage method. Feta retains its freshness and beneficial properties only if it is in brine. Cheese can be kept in the air.
- Nutrient content. A large concentration of choline, vitamin A, protein and calcium is concentrated in feta, and phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur in feta.
- Calorie content. Feta and feta cheese have almost the same nutritional value: 264 kcal and 260 kcal, respectively.
- Product Features Feta strengthens the heart, immunity, helps to combat food poisoning, while feta increases the protective functions of cells, reduces cholesterol.
Thus, these varieties of semi-hard cheeses are equally useful for the human body. They serve as a source of vitamins, macro- and microelements, supply building material to cells - protein. Thanks to what feta and feta cheese strengthen bone tissue, improve the condition of teeth, nails.
Feta is a Greek dairy product with a pronounced salty taste and a fat content of 40-60%. During the production process, the cheese goes through the mandatory aging stage in brine for 3 months. During this time, it acquires a piquant taste (characteristic sourness).
Feta is a source of beneficial microorganisms, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B, E, K. It is a dietary product with antioxidant properties.
Useful properties: improves the digestive tract, eliminates dysbiosis, increases the barrier functions of the body, reduces the risk of heart attack, neurological diseases and metabolic syndrome. The composition of Greek cheese includes saturated fats, so in case of abuse of the product, heart problems can occur.
In the process of choosing feta, you should pay attention to the following criteria: country of origin, color, structure, taste, composition and name of cheese, the presence of a special sign certifying the authenticity of the goods. In no case should you be negligent during the purchase of dairy products, as this threatens to purchase a poor-quality product that can cause food poisoning.