MILK & CHEESE
Cheeses, milk and yogurt produced on Kefalonia are delicious because of the high percentage of aromatic wild herbs present in the diet of the animals.
The most frequently used cheese in the local kitchen is White Kefalonian cheese (traditionally named everywhere on the island as Féta, but since 1994 “Féta” has become a protected designation of origin product, so only some cheeses produced in some parts of Greece can be called “Féta”). This white kefalonian cheese is a white, brined curd made from sheep’s and goat’s milk. It matures for at least three months in brine-filled barrels. It is produced in both hard and soft form and the flavor is slightly acidic and characterized by aromas from the pasture grasses and herbs. It is still a strong tradition for a lot of islanders to produce this cheese at home for private consumption, this normally is done by using traditional rennet, while the production from dairy factories is made using a commercial kind of rennet due to the recently European legislation.
Others famous cheeses of the island are:
- Kefalotýri, a hard, salty cheese made from sheep’s and goat’s milk, traditionally this cheese matures in brine for at least six months
- Graviéra an hard cheese with a rich and spicy flavor it can be also semi hard with a sweet taste
- Gidotýri produced exclusively from goat’s milk
- Ladotýri produced from goat’s and sheep’s milk and aged in olive oil and thyme for at least 8 months it has an intense spicy flavor
- Myzíthra a fresh cheese made with milk and whey from sheep or goats, or both
- Anthótyros, a fresh cheese made with milk and whey from sheep or goats, sometimes in combination, the ratio of milk to whey usually is 9 to 1,
- Préntza traditionally made from Myzíthra and White Cheese, enriched with thyme and olive oil.
Strained yogurt (strangistó giaoúrti) traditionally made from sheep’s or goat’s milk is used in the Kefalonian cuisine mostly as the base for Tzatzíki dip and as a dessert, with honey and walnuts or served with sour cherry syrup, or spoon sweets (Glykià tou koutalioú) or often served on top of some savoury dishes like as Kolokythokeftédes (zucchini fritters) and Ntomatokeftédes (tomatoes fritters).