Lets face it, feta is quickly becoming the new cheddar. During the summer months it is especially apparent that we are becoming a feta obsessed nation, from the mounds of featured recipes that incorporate feta in everything from salad to dessert. But like cheddar (and all cheeses for that manner) there are many varieties of styles/brands of feta and picking the right one can be hard. There is the French feta, Greek feta, Israeli feta, crumbles, blocks....OH MY! Don't feel overwhelmed, after much trial and error I am confident that I have officially found the perfect one and am here to share it with you.
The best feta: barrel aged. I am a cheese fanatic, so when I find a good one it sends me through a series of emotions. When I first tried Mr. Vikos barrel aged feta, I nearly cried. It is extremely flavorful and has a firm but not tough texture. It is also the perfect feta for baking or making a warm dish because of the way it is aged. I had been searching for a good feta for so long and up until this day was consistently let down. The week prior to my feta enlightenment, my roommate and I made a "Greek Style" meal of lemon parsley pasta with a light olive oil dressing, shrimp, kalamata olives, tomatoes, red peppers, onions, artichokes and spinach and were planing on finishing it off with feta cheese to melt in the steaming dish. We chose a French feta, and what a mistake that was. It was creamy and lacked flavor. As my roommate put it, "it tastes like fresh milk". I wanted a pungent hearty cheese to complete the dish and was left completely dissatisfied because of that one missing element.
Barrel aged feta tends to be a bit pricier than the average feta you find in the grocery stores (why I continue to spend my minimal college income on food...I will never know) but it is completely worth it. Go big or go home!
Do Your Own Taste Test,