Feta

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 28. May. 2020

One of the oldest cheeses in the world, feta is still resoundingly popular, thanks to its mild flavor and distinct crumbly texture. It's low lactose content also makes it a great option for with sensitive stomachs.

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Feta...

  • ...is packed with protein. With around 16 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, feta helps to build and maintain muscle mass, and also prevents the body from breaking down muscle mass instead of fat.
  • ...strengthens the bones. A 100 g serving of feta contains about 500 milligrams of calcium and 400 milligrams of phosphorus, minerals which are highly effective in keeping bones and teeth healthy and strong.
  • ...is good for the eyes and skin. 100 grams of feta contains about 180 milligrams of vitamin A, which strengthens vision (especially at night) and ensures healthy skin. Feta’s fat content also helps the body better absorb and utilize the vitamin A.
  • ...is relatively high in fat. Feta isn’t one of the leaner cheese, clocking in at 40-45 percent fat. ith 40 - 45 percent fat in dry matter, feta is not one of the leanest cheeses. However lower fat versions at around 20 percent fat are now readily available in supermarkets.
  • ...contains healthy orotic acid. Formerly known as vitamin B13, orotic acid has been shown to strengthen the immune system, help lower cholesterol levels, and protect cell tissues Orotic acid might also have a beneficial effect on the heart and circulation.
  • ...is low in lactose. While feta isn’t completely free of lactose (milk sugar), it’s proportion is relatively low, with only 0.7 grams of lactose per 100 gram serving. This makes it a good option for those who are lactose intolerant.

What You Should Know About Feta

Feta has been consumed in Greece for thousands of years, where in ancient times it was considered a 'gift from the gods.' 

Authentic feta cheese is is produced in Greece and is made predominantly from sheep's cheese, with only a small percentage of goat's milk allowed in the mixture, and must be traditionally pickled in brine. 

Tradition isvery important in the production of feta: as has been the case for many centuries, sheep's milk is curdled by adding buttermilk or rennet and then pressed until only a solid mass remains. This is cut into slices and layered with salt and sheep's whey in wooden barrels or metal containers for about two months before it's ready to serve. Some varieties mature for longer, producing a more firm and flavorful cheese.

Our Favorite Recipes With Feta

Find all our feta cheese recipes here.

How Health is Feta?

Cut into cubes, this flavorful yet mild cheese is perfect as a protein-rich snack. Because there are no carbohydrates in it, it will keep you full for a long time.

Feta's high content of of vitamin B3 (niacin) supports many important functions in the metabolism - such as the formation of thyroid hormones and fatty acids as well as the control of blood sugar.

Feta is also a source of zinc. This vital trace element is needed for cell division and therefore promotes the regeneration of the skin and the healing of injuries.

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

If you're looking for authetnic feta cheese, ensure the package reads "Feta 40 percent" or "Feta 45 percent".

If, on the other hand, the package simply reads "sheep's cheese", then the product is probably not from Greece, and not authentic feta cheese.

Storage

Like mose soft cheeses, loose feta should be stored in the refrigerator, and stays fresh for only about 4-5 days. However, you can extend its shelf life by placing the feta in a mixture of well-salted, fresh water or by covering it wil olive oil.

Preparation

Because it is stored in brine, feta contains a lot of salt. Soaking your feta in water for 30 minutes before consumption will take down the salinity level.

What To Make With Feta

Whether cold or hot, as a spicy spread, crumbled as a topping, in snack cubes, or grilled or baked, feta is a delicious ingredient that packs flavor into any meal. 

In the summer months, feta is a delicious addition to salads. Combine with cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper for an incredibely simple, heart-healthy Mediterranean salad.

Feta is also great whipped into a topping for bread, whether savory or sweet, with the addition of honey. Feta is also a great cooking ingredient, in gratins, pasta, pizza, and much more.

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