Cheesemaking has a long history in Greece. The earliest records of this craft can be found in Homer’s “Odyssey” where the one-eyed Cyclops, Polyphemus, was the first to produce cheese. Today, there is a huge variety of traditional Greek cheeses with many distinct flavors. Especially in recent decades, many local producers have modernized their facilities and produce high quality cheeses that are promoted in the local and wider market.
Naxos is no exception to this, as it’s a place with a rich agricultural and farming background. The production of the island is truly impressive! If you find yourself in Naxos, don’t miss the chance to try the following:
This is Greece’s second most popular cheese after feta. In Naxos, graviera (not to be confused the Swiss gruyère,) is made exclusively with cow’s milk. It has a unique texture and an intense taste that is reminiscent of parmesan. When grated on top of a pasta dish, it can take it to a whole new level!
A strong-tasting cheese that makes an excellent accompaniment to wine! For the production of arseniko (“masculine”), sheep and goat milk are used. After going through the first stage of preparation, the curd —or “manoura” as it is called— is salted, and then coated with olive oil. After 9 months, the cheese is aged and has a deep taste and characteristic aromas. Enjoy it as a table cheese or in pasta and salads!
Thilikotyri means “feminine cheese”. It’s a white cheese, lightly buttery in taste and with a well-balanced saltiness. You can enjoy it as wine accompaniment, but also at breakfast, combined with jam.
A soft, creamy cheese with a slightly sour taste, made with mostly cow milk. As it’s a fresh product with no preservatives, it must be consumed within a few days. It is usually served with honey as a dessert, but it can also be used in salads and small pies.
This yellow cheese takes its name from the homonymous village. It’s made from fresh sheep and goat milk, whose proportions vary according to the season. It has a delicious, quite balanced taste, milder than the graviera.
This special cheese is a perfect companiment for tsipouro and ouzo — the most traditional Greek spirits! Komos is a low-fat cheese that gets beautifully crusty when fried. A definitely worth-tasting delicacy!
So now you know; when you book your stay at Apricot and Sea and start preparing for Naxos, don’t forget to add cheese tasting to your to-do list!