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A popular, versatile hard sheep or cow's milk cheese (not to be confused with the similar sounding Swiss and French gruyère) that comes with a distinct basket-like rind. It's used in numerous baked recipes, in salads, in saganaki, or grated on pasta. Various places in Greece produce their own versions; three are designated ΠΟΠ (PDO):

Γραβιέρα Αγράφων (Graviera Agrafon) Hard table cheese full of small holes produced in the romte Agrafa region around Karditsa in Thessaly, made exclusively from sheep's milk or a mixture of sheep milk and no more than 30% goat milk. A good wine cheese.

Γραβιέρα Κρήτης (Graviera Kritis) Pale yellow sheep's milk cheese made on Crete, with a maximum of 20% goat's milk. It has a slightly sweet nutty flavour. Said to be the most popular cheese in Greece after feta!

Γραβιέρα Νάξου (Graviera Naxou) made with cow's milk on Naxos. A sweet buttery table cheese, the only graviera made exclusively with cow's milk.

They also traditional make graviera on Lesvos, but increasingly the island uses its milk to make its excellent ladotyri instead.

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Spiros Vathis