FETA CHEESE

Sctrict requirements have be defined on Article 83 of the code of Food and Drinks Act in 1988. Feta as a Protected Designation of Origin Product was recognised on national level in 1994 while on 1996 under the Reg(EOK) 2081/92 with Reg(EOK) 1107/96 was granted on Communal level. After an appeal of other member-states with the Reg(EK)1070/99, feta was erased from the PDO list. Moreover under the European Court's order the European Committee as to assess the situation, run a detailed research on member-states related to the production, consumption and knowledge of the consumers of the European Union of the name "FETA".According to the findings of this reseach as well as according to the scientific committee, which advises the European Committee,"FETA" under Reg (EU)1829/2002 re entered the list of PDO list. New appeals against the European Committee were made. Finally, on 25th October 2005 the European Court rulled in favor of the European Committee for recognising "FETA" as a PDO product. Under national and European legislation the name "FETA" is a PDO product that is exclusively used for the cheese produced with a traditional method in Greece, in designated regions in the main land of Greece as well as in the Prefecture of Lesvos. It is made of sheep's milk or with a mixture of sheep's and goat's (at a 30% proportion)milk of the same region.The milk used comes from sheep's or goat's herds adapted to the production region and whose nutrition is based on the flora of the graze lands. The making process is according to the traditional methodology of production and is carried out within the production zone .

The quality of FETA and its characteristics are attributed exclusively or mostly on the geographical environment that its first materials are found and on the human factors of the designated zone of production of Feta.

Description:

White table cheese that is preserved in brine and is traditionally produced exclusively from sheep's milk or from a combination with goat's milk (but the latter not exceeding the 30% of its weigh).It has a 56% maximum moisture and a 43% minimum fat content in dry matter.

Geographical region:

Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus,Thessaly, Sterea Ellada, Peloponnesus and the Prefecture of Lesbos.

Production method:

After the milk curdling, the curd is placed into moulds as to be naturally drained without being pressed. During draining and after the curd is solid, salt is added on its surface. At this stage the desirable micro-flora is developed on the surface of the curd. It is placed in wooden or metallic containers filled with brine (NaCl 7%).The containers are initially transferred in booths to mature, with temperature up to 180 C and at least 85% humidity for 15 days. The maturation process continues in other booths of 2-40 C temperature with 85% humidity until its maturation process is completed which overall lasts for 2 months.

Tie:

The name Feta dates back since the Enetocracy in Greece on the 17th century and probably is derived from the latin word "fette".Feta was established as the final name during the 19th century.The first written report of the word Feta exists in the shop of St. Rigas, a money lender by profession, who bought feta cheese on the 23rd April in 1892. In 1899 it was reported that "among the popular types of cheese is that of Feta whose production is very simple and known to all the shepherds".Also that "white types of cheese are divided into cheese in brine (feta and touloumissio)..this type of cheese, which is national product, the Greek cheese, is known since ancient times...this cheese is bought by the best houses, its price high its difficult to preserve outcome(due to its water existence) makes its production the most profitable..."Other reports claim "this type of cheese known also as barrel cheese, is mostly consumed, well produced is very tasty and soft.."and that "From sheep's milk you could make fine cheese in our region(feta)..It is a type of cheese known since the old times..The sheep's milk is that makes the best feta..The cheese that is made of sheep's milk is the finest in our region"..Lastly it is mentioned that" the feta cheese is a type of soft Greek cheese, because it has been made in Greece since the ancient times, and is still today the most desirable cheese of the people of the Sterea Greece.."