Last Updated on June 3, 2022 by Aaron
Kefalotyri is a cheese that is produced in Greece and Cyprus. The name of the cheese comes from two Greek words: kefa, which means “head” and tyri, which is an old word for “cheese.”
In modern times, the cheese has been referred to as “kefalotiri,” but this variation was not used until after World War II.
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Kefalotyri can be made from goat’s milk or mixed with sheep’s milk. It can also be mixed with cow’s milk or ewe’s milk if desired.
The flavor profile of kefalotyri is salty, sharp, and a little bit sweet. It is often compared to Parmesan cheese in terms of flavor.
Kefalotyri has a crumbly texture and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. It is often used in dishes such as saganaki, moussaka or pastitsio.
The cheese originated in the Peloponnese region of Greece, but it is now also made in Cyprus. The history of kefalotyri cheese can be traced back to the Byzantine period.
The cheese was mentioned by an anonymous author who wrote about life in Constantinople during that time. Kefalotyri was also mentioned in other Byzantine texts, including the Book of Ceremonies and the De Administrando Imperio. The cheese became a popular delicacy during this time period.
The etymology of the word “kefalotyri” is not entirely clear. The name of the cheese is believed to derive from the Greek word for “head,” kephale, because the cheese was originally made in large wheels that resembled human heads.
Outside of Greece
The cheese wasn’t produced on a large scale until around 1100 A.D., and this is when its popularity spread outside of Greece into other Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey and Sicily. After World War II, the Greek population began migrating out of both Europe and Asia Minor due to economic reasons; many Greeks settled in Australia during this time period.
It was then that Australians fell in love with kefalotyri cheese and started exporting it back home – only they renamed it “kefaliri” instead of using its original name because there already existed another type of cheese called “kefalograviera.”
Kefalograviera and Kefalotyri are both popular Greek cheeses that have similar flavor profiles. The two can be used interchangeably in recipes, with Kefalotyri being described as too salty by some people and preferring the flavor for its milder taste.
Kefalograviera has a flavor somewhat in between mild Kefalotyri and sweeter Graviera, thus its name. Kefalograviera has a PDO status.