Feta Cheese Production
What is feta-cheese?
Translated„Feta“ means „slice“ and is a brine matured-cheese. The name tells its story, during the production approximately 2 kg heavy blocks are produced, however the cheese is sold and eaten in ready cut-up slices. Brine matured-cheese is produced all over the world. However, the origin of feta-cheese leads back to ancient Greece. Therefore, since 1997 only under prescribed requirements in Greece produced cheese is allowed to be called “feta” in the EU - one speaks of protected origin.
Cheese with a different origin, deviating production processes or that are cow milk-based are usually called Balkan cheese, salad cheese, herder cheese, brine cheese and are often sold with help of a Greek-like name or product presentation.
How is feta produced?
For the production solely sheep (minimal 70%) and goat milk (maximum 30%) from special regions of Greece are allowed. After pasteurization lab and other enzymes are added. The curd milk is cut into small cubes with help of cheese harp. With the clotting of the milk whey arises. The whey is poured off and used for the production of other whey protein cheese. The cheese break is now poured into molds which results in the approximately 2 kg heavy feta blocks.
Since it is a legal requirement that feta may not be pressed within the production process, the molds are turned multiple times. Through this action, the cheese is being “pressed” in the mold via its own weight. After one day in the molds the eight blocks are stacked into tins.
The cheese is salted with coarse sea salt and the can is filled up with brine. In the past instead of metal tins, wooden barrels were used. Our traditional produced barrel aged feta cheese is still being produced that way today. Through the storage in the barrel the cheese obtains a richer flavor and additionally becomes creamier.
The filled tins are stored cool for two months. Within this time the feta matures and develops its aroma. The brine withdraws water from the cheese, resulting in the desired texture. Only after two months, the cheese can be called feta and is ready for the market.
Lab and vegetarians
For vegetarians it’s important that feta is produced with help of lab, an enzyme which traditionally is extracted from the stomach of a calf. Today, we use microbiologic produced lab, to also enable vegetarians to enjoy our cheese.