feta cheese
Last Updated : Jan 13,2023

What is feta cheese? Glossary | Benefits, Uses, Recipes with feta cheese |
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What is feta cheese?

Salads, pizzas, and toast all get a Mediterranean feel when Feta is crumbled and added to it instead of the usual Mozzarella, Cheddar or Processed American. Unlike the other cheeses which have overlapping taste, Feta, opens your palate to a delicious creamy, tangy texture that you just can't get enough of. Paired best with fruits and veggies, this cheese releases and cuts through flavour in just the right way. Originally from Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, this brined curd cheese has medium-fat and crumbles easily when clawed. If the tangy, salty taste is a bit much for you, soak the cheese in milk or in water for a couple of minutes.

Chopped feta cheese
To make chopped feta, place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise along the centre of the feta cheese block to get two equal halves. Cut both halves vertically into equal strips, and then hold all the strips together and chop breadth-wise at regular intervals, to make chopped feta.
Crumbled feta cheese
Refers to breaking Feta into small piece with your hands. Take a small ball of feta cheese and crumble it into tiny granules.
Feta cheese cubes
To make feta cheese cubes, place it on a chopping board and using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise along the centre of the feta cheese block to get two equal halves. Cut both halves vertically into equal strips (of approximately 1" in diameter), and then hold all the strips together and chop breadth-wise at regular intervals (of approximately 1" in diameter).
Grated feta cheese
This requires grating the Feta slabs in a hand held grater. You can use grate it into thick or thin strands as per the recipe requirement. This grated cheese is fine in texture and is used for making baked dishes like au gratin or casseroles. Try hardening it a little by keeping it in the coldest section of the fridge for 30 minutes before grating.
Sliced feta cheese
Place the cheese block on a chopping board. With the knife slice the cheese horizontally from left end to right end into thin slices of desired thickness.

How to select feta cheese

• Feta cheese comes available pre-packed infused with either flavoured oil or with herbs.
• The finest feta cheese should be purchased direct from its brine bath.
• If it is pre-packed, it should have some of the brine in the packaging to keep it moist.
• Feta cheese varies in flavour depending on the length of aging and its origin. As feta slowly ages it loses moisture and its texture becomes drier and more crumbly. Feta cheese should not be too crumbly or too dry. The colour should in fact be relatively uniform.
• Check the expiry date and look for any discoloration or mouldy spots.
• The health conscious should opt for varieties that provide no more than 5grams of fat per ounce.

Culinary Uses of feta cheese in Indian Cooking

• Any Greek salad would be incomplete without the inclusion of Feta. Crumbled or cut into cubes, grilled or had as it, Feta is a popular snacking option, not just in the Mediterranean.
• Use generously in soups and sauces, in sandwiches, with toasted bread, in omelettes, on pizzas, soufflés, au gratins, fondues, shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, etc.
• Feta cheese balls and poppers are also popular snacks.

How to store feta cheese

• Feta cheese is best when eaten fresh, so always check the expiry and manufacturing dates.
• If you are not consuming it immediately, store Feta cheese in a brine or milk bath. The milk bath will reduce the saltiness and help keep the cheese moist and mild in flavour. Properly stored in brine or milk and refrigerated, feta cheese will last up to 3 months.
• Feta cheese is built for freezing. All cheeses, regardless of variety, should be well wrapped and kept in the warmest section of the refrigerator. (The refrigerator door is often one of the warmest spots).

Health benefits of feta cheese

Regardless of the type of milk used to create it, Feta cheese is a concentrated source of the nutrients naturally found in milk, including calcium and phosphorus and thus good for bone health. Feta cheese also contains small amount of other essential nutrients such as  zinc, riboflavin and potassium. Feta cheese is also easier to digest. It is a dense source of high quality protein and low in fat, thus suitable for weight watchers. However, one nutritional drawback of this reduced-fat cheeses is that they are usually higher in sodium than other full-fat natural cheese. So people with hypertension and heart disease need to monitor its consumption very closely.

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