Kasseri

The “yellow cheesy”, Greek delight

Kasseri is a traditional, Greek cheese made from unpasteurized sheep milk with no more than 20% goat’s milk mixed in. It is used by Greeks like Italians use mozzarella and many foreign consumers use it as a substitute to mozzarella as well.

kaseriIt is a soft-textured, white crust, stringy cheese belonging to the pasta filata family like Provolone or Muenster. To obtain the correct texture and flavor, the cheese needs to be matured for a minimum of four months. Aged kasseri faintly resembles Parmesan or Asiago.

Kasseri is preferred by connoisseurs who like full flavored cheeses. A bite of Kasseri will enrich your palate with exciting salty flavors and pungent odor. But interestingly, it soon leaves behind a sweet aftertaste. This is because of the high use of sheep’s milk.

Pale yellow in color, Kasseri’s mild, palatable, buttery taste makes it an excellent table cheese. When served at room temperature, it can be paired with omelets, sandwiches or used as a pastry cheese. It is the main constituent in kasseropita pie, or in “saganaki” a fried cheese appetizer. It is also ideal for pizzas and an excellent side dish for wine and ouzo.

Kasseri is only produced in Greece and it is a Protected Designation of Origin product (PDO) in the European Union. It is largely produced in the regions of Macedonia, Thessalia, Mitilini Island and Xanthi.

MLGFB Tip:

How to make kasseri saganaki

kaseri_saganakiIngredients: 1 8-ounce package kasseri cheese cut into 1/2-inch-thick rectangular slices, all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons (about) olive oil, 1/2 lemon,  1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, Kalamata olives

Preparation:

  • Rinse cheese slices under cold water (do not pat dry) and coat with flour.
  • Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking
  • Add cheese and cook until beginning to brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to plates.
  • Squeeze lemon over cheese, sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Serve with bread and olives.
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