ANTHOTYROS Volume 2 #19

World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a new cheese. 

This week Anthotyros from Greece. 

Country: Greece 🇬🇷

Region: Macedonia, Thrace, Thessalia, Peloponnesus, Ionian Islands, Aegean islands, Crete Island and Epirus

Made from: Goat’s and sheep’s milk 

Pasteurized: Not traditionally but for commercial use yes.

Texture: Crumbly

Taste: Tangy, salty

Certification: No

Aging: 10 days

Anthotyros (also known as Anthotiro) is a traditional fresh Greek whey cheese prepared from unpasteurized sheep’s and goat's milk or mixtures of the two. 

The name means “flower cheese” likely because of its aromas of wild herbs.

It has been produced for centuries in many regions including Macedonia, Thrace, Thessalia, Peloponnesus, the Ionian Islands, the Aegean islands, Crete and Epirus. 

There are two types of Anthotyros cheese: dry and fresh. Fresh Anthotyros is of a softer firmness and light, creamy taste and can be consumed plain as table cheese or added in sweet or savory dishes. Dry Anthotyros has a hard and dry structure, salty taste. It has a powerful smell similar to sherry. The dry variant is usually used in grated form and is more long-lasting. 

Anthotyros is made from whey or goat milk or a combination of the two, sometimes a small quantity of sheep’s cream is added in the final stages. The ratio of milk to whey usually is 9-to-1. It is commonly a truncated cone, but when shipped in containers may be crumbled. It is traditionally unpasteurized and still is sold that way where the law allows.

To produce Anthotyros milk is boiled at a moderate temperature for ten minutes and then rennet and salt is added while ruffling. The mix is left in large shallow tanks resulting in a part skim mixture. The following day, salt is added to the mix which is then poured into a basket with tulle and is left to drain. Salt is added every day for another three to four days. At this stage, the cheese is still fresh but less soft. If left to mature, thick salt is often added to cover the exterior. The cheese has a relatively low fat content of 30%.

History

Cheese has been a staple in Greece for centuries even having a God designated for cheese by the ancient Greeks. Aristaios, the son of Apollo was the God that brought cheese and other food staples like honey, olives and medicinal herbs to Greece. 

How to Enjoy It

Fresh Anthotyros is often eaten for breakfast with honey and fruit or used in savory dishes with oil, tomato and wild herbs. The dry variant is often used on pasta dishes or in salads.

and Roditis, Vidiano, , even in their sweet versions. A dryer Anthotyros goes well with spicier, fuller wines like Malagousia, and MuscatDebinaFresh Anthotyros goes best with dry white aromatic wines like Robola. The mild flavor and strong presence of milk in the cheese goes well with dry, white Muscat or even a sweet Muscat of Alexandria. 

Sources: cheese.com, Wikipedia.com, psiloriths.gr, eattheglobe.com, kostarelos.gr, greece-is.com, greeceandgrapes.com