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Kaseri cheese, a Greek favorite, is a PDO semi-hard cheese made from sheep’s or mixed sheep and goat’s milk, cherished in various dishes.

close-up of pieces of Greek ‘Kaseri’ is synonymous with yellow cheese

Kaseri is a favorite among Greeks, so much so that for those in northern Greece particularly, it is synonymous with yellow cheese as such!

Kaseri has a long history. Its forerunner is considered to be Casio Cavallo of Italian descent. During the 19th century, this cheese spread to different countries, where it became known by different names. About fourteen variations in the pronunciation of its name have been identified in a variety of countries. In Greece it is considered to have spread between 1885 and 1890, first reaching the Thessaly region of Central Greece through Romania, Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, then an autonomous territory in the Ottoman Empire, under the name kaskavali. The name was gradually replaced by the name kaseri.

In 1994, kaseri was recognized as a Product of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), which pertains to the semi-hard cheese that is traditionally produced in various parts of Macedonia and Thessaly. It is also recognized in the Prefectures of Lesbos and Xanthi and made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and, by up to 20 percent, goat’s milk produced exclusively in these same regions.

Kaseri is eaten plain or together with bread. It melts deliciously on toast and is used in tiropita and other kinds of pita. It is fantastic as an ingredient for a variety of recipes and, along with feta, is the most popular cheese in Greece.

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