Culinary Anthropologist

Roll out the barrels

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Smbarnabyfeta.jpgToday Barnaby met Andonis Nikolopoulos, a feta cheese maker in Floka, a village near ancient Olympia in Greece. 

Having already learnt about Munster in France, sheep’s and goat’s cheeses in Poland, and bladdered cheeses in Romania, Barnaby thought he probably knew pretty much all there is to know about cheese.  This is not the first time that Barnaby has been completely wrong.

He was quite surprised when Andonis explained to him how real feta is made by adding live yoghurt (not just rennet) to the sheep’s milk.  He was even more surprised when he heard that the cheese ferments in tightly sealed wooden barrels – apparently it gives off so much gas that the barrels nearly explode when you open them!

He also realised that he didn’t really know what good traditional feta tastes like – rich, creamy, tangy and salty all at the same time.  He wondered about trying to make his own feta, in fact – but now that feta has protected appellation status, apparently it’s not supposed to be made by bears.  He was quite disappointed, but we suspect he’ll have forgotten about it in the morning.

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