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Cheese board: it's all Greek

Susan Jung

 

It wouldn't be surprising if people were under the impression Greek cheese started with feta and ended with halloumi.

There are many others, among them manouri, and as far as I can see, no other country has co-opted that name - unlike feta, which is being made in places such as Denmark. Although the European Union tried to stop this practice, you can still find faux feta in Hong Kong supermarkets.

Manouri is similar to ricotta in that it is made from whey - the watery liquid that is drained off while making other types of cheese, in this case, Greek feta. The cheese, designated "PDO" by the EU, "protected designation of origin", which means it must only be made in specific areas of northern Greece, is, like ricotta, soft, moist, rindless and slightly grainy. The curds are smaller than those of cottage cheese.

It is unaged, and the mild flavour means it is versatile enough to use for both sweet and savoury dishes. The easiest way to enjoy it is to spoon some into a bowl and add a drizzle of honey, then eat it as you would like yogurt (although manouri is richer).

You can also drain off some of the liquid and use it instead of cream cheese to make cheesecakes. Or, sweeten it, whisk in an egg yolk, then add some toasted nuts and dried fruit. Wrap the mixture in buttered filo leaves before baking or frying, then dust with icing sugar and serve for dessert.

 

 

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