Feta the Devil You Know

Say what you want about the Greeks, they do two things really well – cheese and anarchy.

I have always admired the Greeks for their ability to enjoy life, create amazing food and manage to plunge their country into widespread chaos at the flick of a switch.

I last visited Greece in the 1990s, when the Drachma was its currency, an older Papandreou was PM and they weren’t beholden to Germany to pay their bills. I haven’t been back since, but I still remember the food – simply cooked, lots of lemon, olive oil and salty cheese – all served with their typical (sometimes dark) sense of humor.

When my friend Nicholas, who runs fabulous events (you can read about his company here ) offered to bring me some cheese from Cyprus, I jumped at the chance. Included in the cheese care package was some fabulous sheep milk feta.

Feta is a crumbly aged cheese, used as a table cheese or in salads and apart from Zorba and Ouzo hangovers, is perhaps Greece’s best known export. Since 2002, feta has been the a protected designation of origin. Meaning that only cheeses produced in the mainland of Greece and from sheep’s milk (or from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk), can call itself “feta”.

Like all great ideas, I had planned to make Prawns Saganaki with the feta. Sadly, my lack of attention to my dwindling supplies, ruled this out. As did my lack of a saganaki pan – a small oven dish with handles. Saganaki, far from being a Japanese motorcycle, refers to a small pan used to serve a variety of dishes.

I forged on regardless mainly because I had already worked out a name for this post – repurposing a pan the provenance of which is hazy. I doused the slices of feta with olive oil (after rinsing and patting them dry), sprinkled some red pepper flakes, oregano and ground pepper. I then popped them in the oven on 240 degrees for around 15 minutes.

When out, I squeezed some fresh lemon juice and served with chopped fresh tomato and onion.

Feta – rivals Zorba as Greece’s biggest export

Not the prettiest dish, but still tasty. So the outing didn’t end in (Greek) tragedy after all (yeah come on, I couldn’t resist that).

Categories: Cheese, Feta, Greece, Travel, White Cheese

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