A while ago, I was reading Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart by George Calombaris which, by the way, is a good cookbook. I define a cookbook as a ‘good cookbook’ if I have made a recipe in it more than once and Greek Cookery falls within that category in more than one instance.
Anyway, I was reading (as you do) Greek Cookery and I noticed that everytime George mentioned feta as an ingredient, he would write: I use Dodoni.
We use a lot of feta so I decided to give it a go.
The next time we were in Kakulas Sister in Nollamara (for non Perth people – a fantastic shop that sells, unpackaged, just about every vaguely Mediterranean ingredient you can think of) and noticed Dodoni feta in the deli section. We bought some and haven’t looked back. It is so much better than any other ‘Greek style’ feta that I have tasted. It’s not cheap but if you work out the per kilo cost of pre-packaged feta, the difference is negligible. It is creamy, yet crumbles perfectly and actually has a taste which is more than you can say for a lot of other ‘feta’. It is made from a combination of sheep and goats’ milk which, according to the definition of feta, it should be. Feta has been made from that combination for over 5,000 years. It is the oldest European cheese.
You can buy it in a one kilo tub preserved in brine (as in the picture) or in 200g gram slices in the deli sections of our 2 major supermarkets. The tub advises that Dodoni is the number 1 selling feta brand in Greece which should tell us something.
You will also notice on the tub that it is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product. Will Studd, in his book Cheese Slices, notes that in 2002, feta was finally granted PDO status and now, in Europe, the use of the name Feta has been limited to feta made according to strict product specifications in 7 regions of Greece, namely the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, mainland Greece, Macedonia, Thrace and Lesbos. Dodoni is made in Epirus. It must contain 70% ewes’ milk.
So next time you are looking for feta, do yourself a favour and check it out.