Kefalotyri Cheese: Vegetarian or Not?

Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Aaron

Kefalotyri cheese is a type of cheese that has been made in Greece for centuries. It is usually served as a table cheese and has an intense flavor.

The question on many people’s minds is whether or not kefalotyri cheese can be eaten by vegetarians and the brands that produced kefalotyri for vegetarians.

So we will explore this in detail!

Is Kefalotyri Vegetarian?

No, the traditional Kefalotyri is not a vegetarian cheese. It’s made using animal rennet, where the rennet is extracted from the stomachs of calves. But nowadays, many modern cheesemakers are using chymosin enzymes, vegetable rennet, or microbial rennet in production.

They are some pros and cons about it, but it’s a good alternative for vegetarian cheese lovers. The same goes for the traditional Greek kefalograviera and kasseri.

Greek Kefalotyri cheese for vegetarians

There are several brands of kefalotyri cheese on the market that have been explicitly stated to use vegetable rennet to help in curdling. These versions may be labeled as “vegetarian”, “organic”, or simply didn’t. So make sure you check the ingredients list before purchasing.

Disclosure: We are not paid or affiliated with these companies.

1. Kourellas Kefylotyri

Kourellas has its production plant located in Grevena. They have their own dairy farm and also teamed with farmers to focus on producing the classic, organic, and the also vegetarian version of the Greek cheeses, which include kefalotyri and feta, kasseri, graviera, and more. It is also GMO-free and gluten-free. You can find their products in select stores or online.

2. Dimitrios Christakis Kefalotyri Cheese

Christakis is a Greece company that produced PDO feta. It has a history of over 120 years to trace. They use “rennet suitable for vegetarians” as stated on their official website.

DIY Kefalotyri Cheese

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also make your kefalotyri cheese at home! And it’s cheaper too! I have an article outlining how kefalotyri cheese is made and there is a step-by-step video at the bottom. Just make sure to swap the rennet to this vegetable rennet.

Ingredients: sheep’s and/or goat’s milk, vinegar, microbial rennet, salt, bacteria culture starter.

All of these ingredients are vegetarian-friendly.

Vegan substitutes

If you are looking for a vegan substitute, there are several options on the market. Nutritional yeast can give a cheese-like flavor to dishes and is available in most health food stores. You could also use store-bought vegan cheeses as well. There are many different types and flavors to choose from.

I discussed vegan substitutes for kefalotyri in this article (at the bottom part).

So there you have it! Kefalotyri cheese is not vegetarian, but there are many brands that produce vegetarian-friendly versions. You can also make your own vegan kefalotyri cheese at home. Enjoy!


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