Feta – What’s the difference to sheep’s cheese or Greek cheese?

Feta, sheep’s cheese and Greek cheese are often grouped together but only one of these cheeses enjoys special protection by the European Court. So what’s the difference? Read on to find out more.

After years of campaigning, Greece finally won the exclusive right to use the term “feta” in 2002. They were fed up with other countries copying their traditional white salty cheese and marketing it as “original feta”. The European Court agreed. It ruled only cheese made from Greek sheep’s milk and matured in salt brine can be called “feta”. Great news for Greece but nothing new for us – we only ever use original feta in our Vapiano restaurants!

How can I tell if cheese is original feta?

Feta is traditionally only made from ewes’ milk, but because sheep produce different quantities of milk depending on the season, the European Court ruled that original feta may also contain up to 30% goats’ milk. So is feta the same as sheep’s cheese? Yes! However, sheep’s cheese is a very general term and feta is only one variety. Any cheese made using ewes’ milk can be called sheep’s cheese, whether a hard cheese like Pecorino or a soft cheese like Roquefort.
The term Greek cheese usually signifies a white cheese made from cows’ milk matured in salt brine. It’s similar to feta but contains cows’ milk instead of ewes’ or goats’ milk.

Watch our Vapianisti create a mouth-watering Pasta Salvia using original feta with sage and semi-dried tomatoes.

Hendrik, Product Development