Kefalotyri vs Graviera: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Aaron

Kefalotyri and Graviera are two styles of cheese that come from Greece. They both have a similar flavor profile, but they’re actually quite different. In this article, we’ll compare these two kinds of cheese and explore their similarities and differences.

Are they the same? The quick answer is no.

Flavor and Features

Kefalotyri is a hard, salty cheese that’s made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. It has a strong flavor and a firm texture. Graviera is also a hard cheese, it’s made from sheep’s milk, but people also use cow’s milk (i.e. Graviera Naxos). It has a mellower flavor than kefalotyri and a slightly softer texture. Kefalotyri is less meltable than Graviera.

Kefalotyri is usually aged for around 2-12 months before marketable, Graviera also aged for about the same length of time, but some producers age it for up to 2 years.

When kefalotyri is young, its color ranges from white or pale yellow to ivory when mature. Graviera has a slightly orange hue and is sometimes called “orange cheese”.

As for the texture, kefalotyri is quite firm, while the texture of Graviera can be a bit softer, or semi-hard.

History and Origin

Kefalotyri has been made in Greece for centuries, possibly as far back as the Byzantine era. Graviera was first developed in 1914 in Peloponnese, where it is based on the Swiss Gruyère recipe. It became quite popular, especially around the town of Naxos.


Both kefalotyri and Graviera are made in the same way – by curdling the milk with rennet, then cutting and draining it. The cheese is then placed in molds, brined for hours, and finally aged for months. The differences are the milk used and also a shorter acid-set time for the cheese curd.

Serve and Use

Kefalotyri is often used in Greek dishes like moussaka and pastitsio. It can also be shredded and used in salads. Graviera is great for grating over pasta dishes or making into a cheese sauce.

They are both used in saganaki. but Graviera is a bit softer than kefalotyri and it melts easier, therefore it’s not quite easy to fry just by itself. For that, It’s often used with egg, flour, and bread.


Kefalotyri is higher in calories (100 kcal per 28 g) and fat (fatty acids make up about 36% of the dry matter), has a moderate amount of protein (about 26%), and a low amount of carbohydrates (less than 0.05%).

Graviera is also high in calories (100 kcal per 28 g) but has less fat (fatty acids make up about 24% of the dry matter), more protein (about 29%), and fewer carbohydrates (less than 0.05%).


Is Gruyere the Same as Graviera?

No, they are not the same. Gruyere is a type of cheese that is made in Switzerland, while Graviera is a type of cheese that is made in Greece. They are both hard cheeses that come from a similar making process, but they have different flavors, textures, and names. Graviera is commonly believed to derive from Gruyere since 19-century. Graviera is mainly using sheep’s milk, while Gruyere is almost always a cow’s milk cheese.

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