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The Ancient Greek origin of Feta

The earliest documented reference to the production of feta cheese was in Greece, in the 8th century B.C. The technology described in Homer’s Odyssey to create this cheese from sheep and goat milk is actually similar to the method modern shepherds employ. Popular in ancient Greece, feta cheese was vital to Greek gastronomy.
 
Eating foods like feta cheese sparingly, combined with a diet high in antioxidants to protect from the damage of excess inflammation, can ensure a healthy immune system ready to fight disease the way it was originally designed.

1. Protects against cancer

. As a rich source of calcium, feta cheese allows you to take advantage of research suggesting that calcium (combined with vitamin D) helps protect the body against various types of cancer. (2)

But it’s not just calcium. The proteinalpha-lactalbumin\

can be found in this Greek cheese as well, and when it binds to calcium and zinc ions, has been suggested to have antibacterial and antitumor properties.

5. Prevents headaches, including migraines

Feta cheese is a good source of vitamin B2 or “Riboflavin.” Vitamin B2 has been known for a long time as a natural remedy for headaches, migraines included. (5) A diet rich in vitamin B2 (and Riboflavin supplements, if needed) can serve as a preventative method to limit migraines and other types of chronic headache.

3. Boosts immune system

A protein found in feta cheese  is called histidine. which is

combined with vitamin B6 (also found in feta cheese), to become histamine , compound that is part of the inflammatory process in a way that allows your immune system to fight disease.


Plus, as a bonus, feta cheese contains probiotics, which also help your immune system fight infection and disease!

Feta at risk of loosing its Greek PDO


Feta cheese is at risk of losing its Protected Designation of Origin status, as new trade agreements may allow Canada and South Africa to produce white cheese and name it “feta.”

According to a new trade agreement the European Union is preparing to sign with Canada and South Africa, the two countries will be able to produce their own versions of feta cheese.

Greek Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Apostolou had stated previously that he will not sign the EU trade agreement, he even threatened to veto the decision. However, the battle is lost, according to Greek and international sources  and now the minister puts the blame on the previous government, claiming that the deal was closed in September 2014.

This is not the first time that EU trade negotiations challenged the status of feta cheese as a PDO product, Apostolou said, adding that the Greek government is determined to continue to defend its position in all pertinent institutions and maintain the feta “Greekness” internationally.

Feta cheese is one of the flagship Greek products internationally, its exports bringing to the Greek economy about 380 million euros per year.

Along with feta, Greek yogurt is at risk of losing its PDO status as well. The Czech Republic, after the approval of the European Commission, now has the right to manufacture and to export to international markets a milk product called Greek yogurt.

The battle for Greek feta

Feta cheese, interestingly, has been a source of quite a bit of legal battling in recent decades. Within the European Union, Denmark had, at one point, created what they termed “feta cheese,” but made from blanched cow’s milk. Since 2002, marking the resolution of that case, the EU has deemed the term “feta” as a PPO, or “protected product of origin,” of Greece.

Another recent agreement in 2013 between the EU and Canada protects the name “feta cheese” from being used, except when referring to sheep’s/goat’s milk cheese imported from Greece. Canadian manufacturers are now required to label their similar product as “feta-style cheese.”

These disputes originated mainly from the argument that the specific breeds of sheep and goats within Greece are what give real feta its distinctive aroma and flavor.

How to Use + Recipes

Original since Ancient Times

Cheese
The first recorded cheese manufacturer in Greek History was Cyclops Polyphemus from Homer’s Odyssey poem. Odysseus tried to steal food from his cave and found several cheese types ripening. 

Fresh unpasteurized cheeses like mizithra (white soft cheese) are some of the main dairy products made in Greece and still produced and consumed today. 

Also sour cheese is greatly appreciated in Greece nowadays, it was first created by accident as fresh cheese was forgotten and left to sour.