Kefalotyri and mizithra are both Greek cheeses that are made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. They are quite different from each other, below we will discuss.
Kefalotyri is an aged cheese for a minimum of 3 months. Whereas mizithra is a fresh cheese that is usually eaten fresh. Mizithra can also be aged for normally a year, which is called dried mizithra.
Fresh mizithra is unsalted, while aged mizithra is salted where It becomes semi-soft when aged.
Flavor and Feature
Kefalotyri is a hard, salty cheese that often has a yellow rind on the outside. It has a very strong flavor and is normally grated into dishes or used in saganaki. Mizithra is a sweet, mild, milky cheese that is soft and crumbly. It does not have as strong of a flavor as kefalotyri and is usually eaten fresh. Mizithra is usually served as a dessert with honey, nuts, or figs.
Kefalotyri and Mizithra are made differently. Kefalotyri is made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The milk is heated and then curdled with rennet and acid. The curds are then cut into small pieces and pressed into molds. It is then brined for a few hours and left to age for 3 months minimum.
Mizithra is a whey cheese, meaning that it’s made from the leftover whey after the cheese production, similar to ricotta. The idea is to use the remaining milk solids instead of discarding them. Also, some cheesemakers will mix the whey with milk.
Making mizithra is a lot simpler than kefalotyri. Basically, just reheat the whey, then add acid or vinegar (optional) and use a cheesecloth to drain the curd. And done!
Here’s the 1-minutes YouTube video to make whey cheese.
Serve and Use
Kefalotyri is used as a topping for pastitsio, moussaka, stifado (braised beef). A popular way to eat kefalotyri in Greece is to grill it together with the meat during barbeque parties. Mizithra can also be used in many of the same dishes as kefalotyri. It is often blended with other ingredients to create a filling for pastries or savory pies.
Kefalotyri is high in protein and calcium while mizithra is a good source of vitamin A, B12, and calcium. Both cheeses are high in saturated fats.
Kefalotyri is more expensive than mizithra. A pound of kefalotyri will cost you around $30, while a pound of dry mizithra costs only $13.
So there you have it! Kefalotyri and Mizithra are both Greek cheeses that are quite different from each other. Kefalotyri is a hard, salty cheese with a yellow rind on the outside and has an incredibly strong flavor. Mizithra is soft and crumbly with a mild milky flavor; it’s often served fresh as dessert in Greece!