Monday, March 12, 2012

Product Review: Athenos Feta Cheese

My first memory of feta cheese is hearing about a lasagna made with feta on the comedy The Singles Ward.[1] However, I suspect that I'd had contact with it long before then. The name of the cheese has a circuitous history. It was originally made in Crete and was called πρόσφατος (prósphatos) which means "recent" or "fresh". The cheese was introduced to Italy, where it was called fetta, the Italian word for "sliced". This was then transliterated back into Greek, where we get the name φέτα (pheta), which eventually became the English feta.[2] Many similar varieties of cheese are produced throughout the eastern Mediterranean and around the Black Sea.[3]

My verdict: We bought this feta to eat on spinach and strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing.[4] Leann's favorite part of the recipe was the candied pecans, but my favorite part was the feta. I intentionally picked out the biggest pieces to put on my salad. It was fabulous. Later on I tried eating the feta by itself and it wasn't that special (but perhaps that is, in part, because it's frustrating to eat tiny little crumbs of cheese). I can't say whether I'd ever try a feta lasagna. Apparently such recipes do exist.[5] I suspect that this was a sheep's milk feta since, by itself, it tasted a lot like myzithra cheese.[6]


[1] Why a kid who had a multiplicity of tattoos and was determined to successfully bungee-jump a car would also be fond of feta cheese, I don't know.

[2] See origins.

[3] See cheeses around the world.

[4] Find the recipe here, on Leann's sister's blog. I highly recommend it.

[5] See

[6] Read my review of that cheese here (scroll down).

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