Known for its tangy, rich, and slightly salty flavor, feta is considered one of the best kinds of cheese in the world and is a favorite among many chefs and food enthusiasts. It goes well with pasta, salads, sandwiches, omelets, pizza, and a variety of meats, making it a really versatile ingredient that must be present in every kitchen.
However, whenever you take a bite of this delicious cheese, have you ever wondered where it came from? We will go through it in this article.
History of Feta Cheese
Feta cheese has a rich and deep history, just like its flavors. Cheese production is said to be as old as human civilization, dating back to the domestication of animals 10,000 years ago. Because of this, the exact origin of cheese production is unknown and is most likely lost to time. Nevertheless, cheese is said to have been invented around 8.000 years ago. It’s highly possible that it was discovered totally by chance while milk was being transported in the stomachs of young animals.
This was mentioned in Homer‘s ‘Odyssey’ where the Cyclops Polyphemus was the first to create a cheese that is today thought to be feta’s progenitor. As mentioned in the myth, the milk he stored in bags made from animal stomachs had curdled and solidified. To his surprise, this solid product tasted excellent.
Aristoteles, Pythagoras, and other Greek comedy authors have also written on the creation and consumption of cheese during ancient times. Feta is still made in much the same manner it has been for over 8,000 years, with just minor differences in mechanization and packaging.
Feta became well-known around the world in the twentieth century, when large numbers of Greeks migrated to other nations, including Australia, the United States, Canada, and Germany. As a result, several Greek communities sprang up across the world, with members maintaining their traditional eating patterns to a considerable extent.
The traditional Greek diet is rich in vegetable-based dishes, and feta is served as the protein for those dishes. Because of this, new markets for feta cheese were formed, resulting in an increase in its worldwide commerce.
Some Interesting Things You Need to Know About Feta
- Feta is a Greek word that literally means “slice.”
- In a combination of refrigerated and room temperatures, feta can take three months or longer to completely age, and it must be stored in a mild brine solution to avoid drying out.
- Feta is a nutrient-dense cheese that is typically beneficial to your health. It’s high in riboflavin, salt, calcium, phosphorus, and fat, as well as vitamin B12 and protein.
- Feta has a sour, acidic, and salty flavor, and it may be seasoned with oil, herbs, spices, or other ingredients.
- Feta is among the most versatile cheeses. It tastes no matter where it is added. The only thing they are usually not used for is fish.
Nothing compares to the creamy, salty, fresh, and tangy flavor of feta cheese. It is, however, more than just a block of cheese. It is a reflection of thousands of years of history and culture. So, before you take a piece of this delicious cheese, take a moment to savor it.
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