If you love cheese, and you’re a curious foodie, a taste of cheese from Mykonos will be part of your local food experience. In fact, Greek cheeses, with their unique tastes, have gained culinary notoriety and Mykonian cheeses are part of that fame.
If you’d like to try Mykonos cheese, you actually have a few great options. Here’s a look at the delicious local cheeses that are produced on the island:
Kopnasti cheese is actually produced through much of the Cycladic islands. It is officially recognized as a Product of Protected Designation of Origin. Mykonians will attest that their version is the most famous one. Some Mykonians refer to kopnasti as myzithra. It is a spicy soft cheese that is fermented in clay jugs. Several months are necessary for its proper maturation. Its characteristic spicy bite comes from just the right amount of bacteria that is formed during that process. It is usually made of cow’s milk, or a mixture of cow, lamb and goat milk. Locals will say it is a “must-try” food on the island since it is very closely connected with the traditional diet.
Tyrovolia is sometimes referred to as the Mykonian chevre. This soft white cheese is often baked into traditional savory Greek pitas. Some of the same process that is used to make kopanisti cheese is applied to tyrovolia cheese making. However, tyrovolia isn’t as spicy as kopnasti. Tyrovolia can also be found in Mykonian recipes for salads and desserts. It is also great when eaten just as it is – plain and simple.
Ksinotiri is much like kopnasti, but it is left under the sun to become a bit more “tough.” This sour cheese is made by fermenting and straining buttermilk. It can be described as fruity, aromatic and a tad sharp. Many recipes call for it to be grated over Greek pasta and tomato sauces.
Kopnasti, tyrovolia and ksinotiri can be found in so many local traditional Mykonian dishes. Many of the top restaurants on the island also incorporate these delicious local cheeses in their inventive and delicious gourmet dishes and desserts.
Have you ever tried cheese from Mykonos?