Taste Atlas Awards Spotlight Greek Cheeses Amidst Culinary Excellence

Graviera Naxou

Taste Atlas, a global food website based in Bulgaria, recently unveiled its definitive compilation of the world's finest cheeses, determined by user ratings. The revelation was shared on their Facebook page, marking the announcement of the annual 'Taste Atlas Awards.'

Notably, the top 10 rankings were dominated by Italian selections featuring renowned cheeses such as parmigiano reggiano, mozzarella, burrata, and stracchino. Parmigiano Reggiano claimed the top spot, with the website emphasizing the diverse flavours that can range from 'nutty to robust and slightly piquant,' contingent on its maturation period.

Taste Atlas Awards Spotlight Greek Cheeses Amidst Culinary Excellence 1

France emerged as the second top-performing country, with Saint-Andre securing the sixth position, followed by Reblochon at seventh, and Mont d'Or making a surprising appearance at the tenth spot. In an unexpected twist, the Greek cheese Graviera Naxo claimed the fourth spot, while feta secured the 88th position.

Among the notable Greek cheeses, Melichloro, Graviera Kritis, Krasotyri, Kalathaki Limnou, and Kefalotyri, crafted from both sheep and goat milk, also garnered popularity.

Portugal made a mark in the top 10 with Queijo Serra da Estrela, a semi-soft cheese, ranking fifth with an impressive 4.63 average rating. The website commended its 'clean, sweet, and slightly sour' taste.

Graviera Naxo

This cheese has been produced on the island of Naxos in the Cyclades for at least a century. Graviera Naxou is made from pasteurised cow milk or a mixture of sheep milk and a maximum of 20% goat milk. It has a thin rind and a light yellow, compact interior filled with small holes.
Graviera Naxou is a hard table cheese with a refreshing taste and light aroma. It has a maximum moisture content of 38% and at least 40% fat content. The milk used for its production comes from breeds that are traditionally raised on the island, which feed on a diet of local plants and herbs that give their milk a unique flavour. 

Melichloro

Melichloro is a traditional Greek cheese produced on the island of Lemnos. The cheese is made from fresh sheep's and goat's milk. Its texture is hard, while the flavours are rich and complex, capturing the scent of herbs and wildflowers that grow on the island.

Melichloro matures in dark and dry rooms, and it's drained at the end of spring, when humidity is as low as possible so that maximum drainage can be achieved. The result is a hard cheese that's ideal for grating over various dishes. It's recommended to serve Melichloro with thyme honey and walnut halves.
Pair it with ouzo or tsipouro grape distillate.

Graviera Kritis 

(Γραβιέρα Κρήτης , Cretan Graviera)

This cheese has a long history and is the best-known Greek graviera cheese. It is produced using traditional methods and ripened in facilities in Hania, Rethymnos, Iraklion, and Lasithio prefectures on the island of Crete.

It is traditionally produced from sheep milk or a mixture of sheep milk and a maximum of 20% goat milk. These goats and sheep wander freely on the green pastures of the island, and their diet is based on local plants, which give their milk a special quality that is expressed in this exceptional cheese.

It is a hard table cheese with a light yellow colour and firm texture. Its taste is slightly sweet and nutty. This cheese matures for 3 to 5 months before being put on the market. It is the most popular Greek cheese next to feta, and it can be found almost anywhere outside of Greece's borders.
It can be served as an appetizer or grated and used in salads or soups.

Krasotyri

Krasotyri is a traditional Greek cheese originating from Kos. The cheese is made from sheep's or goat's milk (or a combination). The milk is warmed, pasteurized, placed into containers, and then traditional elongated wicker moulds where it drains.

Krasotyri

After it's out of the mold, the cheese is placed in brine, drained, then combined with wine sediment and left to age for up to 20 days. The result is a distinct flavor of wine. The texture is delicate and soft, and the aromas are reminiscent of wine.
It's recommended to serve Krasotyri with homemade bread, and vegetables drizzled with olive oil.

Kalathaki Limnou 

(Καλαθάκι Λήμνου , Kalathaki of Limnos)

This white, soft, brined cheese is made from fresh sheep milk or a combination of sheep and goat milk taken from breeds that graze freely on wild grasses on the island of Lemnos in the northern Aegean Sea. The production method is quite similar to that of traditional feta cheese, with one significant difference that also gave this cheese its name.

Kalathaki Limnou 

According to the traditional method, the curd is put in a kalathaki ("small basket") for draining and organic acidification, during which time the cheese acquires its characteristic cylindrical shape. Later, the baskets are submerged in brine to mature for at least two months.
While it is similar to feta in texture, Kalathaki Limnou has a milder, pleasant flavour. Its taste can be described as salty and slightly acidic. It is usually consumed as a table cheese served with fruit, but it can also be used in various traditional Greek dishes and Greek salads or as a substitute cheese for saganaki.

Kefalotyri

Kefalotyri, an intriguing name that rolls off the tongue, is a culinary treasure hailing from the beautiful lands of Greece and Cyprus. This hard, salty cheese has been delighting palates for centuries, dating back to the Byzantine era. It’s more than just a cheese; it’s a tangible piece of Greek and Cypriot heritage that carries the flavour of tradition in each bite.

Kefalotyri

Made primarily from sheep or goat’s milk, or often a delightful mix of both, Kefalotyri boasts a firm texture that’s slightly granular yet pleasingly crumbly. Its colour ranges from a pale yellow to white, reflecting the purity of its ingredients and the simplicity of its artisanal production methods.

But what truly sets Kefalotyri apart is its unique flavour profile. Salty, tangy, and slightly pungent, this cheese delivers a taste sensation that’s as unforgettable as it is delicious. The flavor deepens and sharpens with age, making older Kefalotyri cheeses a sought-after delicacy for cheese aficionados.

Read More History of Feta

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