Feta is a Greek brined curd white cheese made from sheep’s milk or from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. It is soft, with small or no holes, a compact touch, few cuts, and no skin. It is formed into large blocks and aged in brine. Its flavor is tangy and salty, ranging from mild to sharp. It is a crumbly aged cheese, with small or no holes, a compact touch, few cuts, and no skin. Feta is commonly produced in blocks and has a slightly grainy texture in comparison to other cheeses. Its flavor is tangy and salty, ranging from mild to sharp. The color is snow white on the inside and on the surface.
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Feta is a brined, white cheese with a soft and creamy texture. Compared to other cheeses, it’s low in calories and fat. It also contains a high amount of B vitamins, phosphorus and calcium, which can benefit bone health. Additionally, feta contains beneficial bacteria and fatty acids. While feta cheese provides you with an excellent source of nutrients like calcium and protein, it also contains high amounts of sodium and saturated fat. Feta is lower in fat than many other cheeses however, and is considered a reasonable option to eat in moderation.
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The Greek word feta comes from the Italian fetta ‘slice’, which in turn is derived from the Latin ‘morsel, piece’. The word feta became widespread as a name for the cheese only in the 19th century, probably referring to the cheese being cut to pack it in barrels. Traditional Greek feta cheese is made from sheep or goat milk. Feta cheese has few calories than any other cheese, so it is a good choice for weight loss. 28 grams of feta cheese contains 75 calories. However, feta cheese is high in sodium, so it is advised to drink plenty of water if you have it. It was originally produced using sheep’s milk, although now most commercial makers of feta use cow’s milk. Feta is stored and cultured in a whey brine thus giving the cheese its distinctive salty taste.
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If you find the salty brine taste of feta cheese too strong, it is possible to lessen or remove this taste. With 7 grams of fat and only 3 grams of carbs, feta can be eaten by those following the keto diet. Feta’s crumbly texture makes it easy to sprinkle on top of salads or soups. True feta fanatics often top it with olive oil and eat it as a standalone item or side dish. Crumbled feta cheese tends to last up to the expiry date stated on the label if it is left unopened. However, as soon as you open your crumbled feta cheese, it will last only about five days if kept in the fridge. If you buy your feta cheese in a wrapped block form, it will last about a month if left unopened.
5 Health Benefits of Feta and other Cheese:
- Helps treat Anaemia– associated with low levels of iron, folic acid, Vitamin B-12, anaemia can be naturally treated by consuming feta In a wise and appropriate manner.
- Good for eyes and prevents eye diseases– various studies as we know have suggested that people having healthy diets with good quantity of Vitamin B-2 including feta cheese once in a while have lesser chances of having eye issue.
- Prevents Headache and Migraine issues- since feta has a good balance of nutrients with a sound quantity of vitamin B-2 it has been considered good to consume to prevent issues related to headaches etc.
- Immunity Boosting Cheese- feta cheese is considered good in a number of ways due to its beneficial properties and offerings towards us which help us to maintain our health in a better way and boosts immunity as well.
- Good for Bones and Gut health – Feta cheese is regarded as a positive source of supporting health of our bones and gut. It also offers probiotics or bacteria which line our gut as well.
A Few Culinary Uses of Feta & other Cheese:
- Salads and Appetizers: Feta is a good choice to work with when it comes to tossing up salads be it veg or non-veg, be it a greek salad or a quick toss chicken salad. The texture and taste of feta blends well with veggies like cucumber, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives, roast of grilled chicken/ meats, cold cuts/charcuterie products as well like ham, sausages, salami, bacon etc. ,be it ala carte, plated service, buffets or set meals feta has somehow found its place in a number of ways to impress the audience and food connoisseurs.
- Fillings and Stuffing’s: It is good choice for a rolled up cigar concept or a stuffing with spinach and mushrooms with a little feta gives a good mouthfeel and richness attached into a chicken breast or even a fillet of meat. What matters of course is the correct temperature and timing of cooking when it comes to involving feta cheese. Over heating or too much heat as well is not really recommended since it disintegrates the elements of the cheese and visibility goes down as well when it comes to eye appeal in the finished product.
- Ideal to add into Dips: Feta cheese is not only good to add into various other category of dishes on the menu but also when it comes to dipping delicacies to along with crunchy cuts of veggies like carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, white or red radish, olives, lavash, cheese straws, soup sticks, flaky pastry preparations etc. a good dip not only offers a creamy texture but also a punch and bite when it comes to looking for an ideal one and feta adds it just right in the correct proportion.
Here are a few of my all-time favourite recipes using Cheese:
Recipe- 1] CRUNCHY VEG & CHEESY DELIGHT SALAD
Recipe- 2] HERBED SPINACH AND CHEESE ROLLS
Recipe- 3] INDO FUSION MINCED MEAT WITH CHEESE
Recipe-4] MARINATED TOMATO – OLIVE CHEESE BITES
Recipe- 5] HERBED STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST WITH CHEESE
Recipe- 6] CHEESY VEGGIE PAN PASTA
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About the author
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani – celebrity master chef - is a Mumbai-based author, writer, academician, food –health-lifestyle coach, mentor & consultant.
He is specialized in over 33 International Cuisines & has worked with brands like the Taj Group of Hotels, Kuwait Airways to name a few. Chef Kaviraj has been awarded several Global and National Awards for his outstanding performance and achievements in his chosen field. He has been featured on Star Plus and Colors Television on several food shows as well.