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Kefalotyri

Kefalotyri or kefalotiri is a hard, salty yellow cheese made from sheep milk and/or goat’s milk in Greece and Cyprus.

A similar cheese Kefalograviera, also made from sheep and/or goat milk, is sometimes sold outside Greece and Cyprus as Kefalotyri. Depending on the mixture of milk used in the process the colour can vary between yellow and white.

Kefalotyri

Kefalotyri

Kefalotyri Cheese

In taste it vaguely resembles Gruyere, except it is harder and saltier. A very hard cheese, kefalotyri can be consumed as is, fried in olive oil for a dish called Saganaki, or added to foods such as pasta dishes, meat, or cooked vegetables, and is especially suited for grating. It is also used along with Feta cheese in the vast majority of recipes for Spanakopita, where many recipes say to substitute Romano or Parmesan if kefalotyri cannot be obtained. This is a popular and well-known cheese, establishing its roots in Greece during the Byzantine era. It can be found in some gourmet or speciality stores in other countries. Young cheeses take two to three months to ripen. An aged kefalotyri, a year old or more, is drier with a stronger flavour, and may be eaten as a meze with ouzo, or grated on food.

Substitutes

  • Romano
  • Pecorino
  • Parmesan
  • Nutritional Yeast (This substitution works best if recipe calls for cheese to be sprinkled over a dish. Nutritional yeast is low in fat, high in protein and B vitamins, and it’s not made with any animal products.)

Summary

  • Made from pasteurised Goat’s or Sheep’s milk
  • Country of origin: Cyprus, Greece and Turkey
  • Type: Hard
  • Texture: Firm and Flaky
  • Rind: Natural
  • Colour: Pale Yellow
  • Flavour: Salty, Sharp, Spicy, Strong, Tangy
  • Aroma: Rich, Strong
  • Vegetarian: No
 

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