Do you know what the Moby Dick’s House Salad, Spinach Salad, and Mediterranean Salad all have in common? They each come with feta cheese. Feta cheese is a brined creamy white cheese. Feta is very nutritious and is also an excellent source of calcium.
Common in Mediterranean cuisine, feta cheese is found in all sorts of dishes ranging from appetizers to desserts. Feta has been made for centuries using the same general method. It is made with either sheep or goat’s milk or a combination of both. The unique characteristics of feta are influenced by the local grasses and environment where the animals are raised.
Feta’s flavor is tangy and sharp when it is made with sheep’s milk, but milder when combined with goat’s milk. Feta is produced in blocks and is firm to the touch. However, it can crumble when cut and has a creamy mouth feel.
Feta is a pickled curd cheese whose taste is enhanced by the brine. Feta needs to age in the brine for at least 2 months, and some feta is aged for up to 12 months. The more it is aged, the harder it is and the greater a flavor of pepper is found in the cheese.
The name feta, which does literally mean “slice,” originated in the seventeenth century, and probably refers to the cutting of the blocks of formed feta.
Feta cheese is a low-calorie, low-fat cheese. It is also a good source of B vitamins, calcium, and phosphorus. Feta is lower in fat and calories than aged cheeses like cheddar or parmesan. It is also a good probiotic. Feta cheese contains friendly bacteria that have been shown to promote immune and intestinal health, in addition to their anti-inflammatory effects.