Everybody loves cheese. And everybody loves Greece. But did you know that the country curdles, cultures and ages a whole array of fine cheeses – some that are excellent to cook with, and others that do great on a platter. The Greek cheese in the spotlight this week is one that’s suitable for both; it adds smoky deep flavor to creamy sauces, is delicious fried, and makes a fine nibble with white wine or a good beer.
While feta will most certainly stay the star among the Greek cheeses (remember the spring’s TikTok trend?), the product currently getting its fifteen minutes thanks to CNN Travel’s list of their favorite European cheeses, published Monday, is metsovone.
A Protected Designation of Origin product (just like feta), metsovone is a buttery, nutty, smoked cheese with lots of character, produced in Metsovo, a town in the Pindos mountains in Epirus. Besides it’s very distinct and delicious taste, it also has an interesting history. Inspired by the Italian provolone, it was invented as part of an effort to revive this mountainous region by creating jobs after the Second World War.
“You know all about feta, of course; now it’s time to try a lesser known Greek cheese. Metsovone hails from the remote north of the country, or more precisely, a mountain town called Metsovo. Made from cow’s milk, either on its own or mixed with a little sheep or goat, it’s semi-hard and naturally smoked. Like that other Greek staple, halloumi, it lends itself particularly well to grilling,” reads CNN’s motivation for putting metsovone among their favorites.
You can find a guide to our favorite Greek cheeses, and how to enjoy them, here.
This article first appeared in Greece Is (www.greece-is.com), a Kathimerini publishing initiative.