27 February, 2009

Manly Cheese

Went to Piraeus Market for shopping and found much more people than usual; they were buying things for Sragosti (Lenten period), things like octopus, prawns, crabs, talama for talamosalata (evidently, here in Greece, many people make their own talamosatala at home from talamo and I see more talamo than talamosalata in shops), pickles called toursi, halvas etc.

But we are still in Cheesefare week and I bought some cheese leaving Sarakosti shopping for weekend. These are from a cheese shop near the market.

What I meant to buy (and actually bought) was Kaseri cheese.

When I said I wanted some Kasseri, the cheeseman asked me "Kasseri from where?" and then before I could answer, he just responded by himself and gave me Mytilene Kasseri.

Kasseri cheese is a nice yellow cheese that it to everyone's taste: it is soft, smooth and does not have too strong a character. It is very versatile as well.

And then I saw this unfamiliar cheese and could not resist trying.

Arseniko cheese from Naxos. The name reminded me of arsenic poison, but according to later inter Internet research, it is rather from αρσενικός meaning male or masculine. It is from goat and sheep milk and also known as Kefalotyri Arseniko Naxou. It does not seem to be much known as Hubby's mom, who is knowledgeable about food, has never heard of it.

The part close to the rind has almost parmiggiano like dry and hard consistency, while the central part is moister and butterier.

The rind looks aged and very hard.

Now the taste. There is some granularness in texture and, in taste wise, although there is strong umami sweetness, it is also peppery and slightly bitter. It has much stronger character - more masculine, manlier - than, say, Kaseri. Hubby liked it, but I, who is not a cheese-eater, find it too strong to my taste.

I packed both of them into Hubby's sandwich for lunch. He will tell me later if they are nice in sandwich as well.

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