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A semi-hard brined cheese full of tiny holes similar to Feta (but firmer), produced in Messinía and Lakonía from the milk of free range sheep and/or goats. The curd is divided and heated, not once but twice—hence its nickname, φέτα της φωτιάς (féta tis fotiás, or 'slice of fire’).

It is then pressed into a strip called a sféla, salted and left to ripen in tin cans in brine (Άρμη) for a minimum of three months. It's a popular appetizer cheese and better than feta for grilling, if you leave it out of the brine to dry and harden.

Unlike feta, however, it is made by reheating the curd, giving it a firmer texture and a spicier flavour. It is often baked with paprika, sweet peppers and onions.

Designated PDO (ΠΟΠ).

Cheese, dairy and eggs



Text © Dana Facaros

Image by kalamatagastronomy