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arseniko Naxou

αρσενικό Ναξου

A spicy sheep's and goat's milk cheese made for over a thousand years in the highlands of Naxos, and drained in special baskets called tirovola that give it the pattern on its dark ring. The name means 'manly male'; today it's designated PDO (ΠΟΠ).

To balance out the masculine cheese, the Naxians also make a soft white 'feminine' cheese called θηλυκό τυρί (thyliko tyri); and what's leftover from the thyliko tyri is gathered and fermented with herbs to make Κομός Νάξου (komos Naxou).

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by enya