Does Your Feta Taste Right: Sour? Bitter?

Last Updated on September 21, 2023 by Aaron

The taste of feta cheese is an acquired one. For most people, the strong smell and sour flavor are too much to take.

But what if you’re not used to the taste? What if it’s your first time eating feta cheese?

You might be surprised at how many people actually like the taste of feta cheese! It has a strong, pungent smell that some people describe as “rank” or “rotting”. The flavor is also quite sour, which can be a bit of an acquired taste. But once you get used to it, feta cheese can be quite enjoyable!

Some people even say that feta cheese tastes like vomit. Others describe it as tasting like feet. But if you’ve eaten feta cheese before, the taste is likely not something that bothers you.

The Smell

A lot of people describe the smell of feta cheese as “funky”. It definitely smells stronger than most cheeses and can be strong enough to turn some people away from it even before they try a bite!

The scent ranges in strength depending on how long ago the cheese was made (softer cheeses tend to have less intense scents). Feta also has notes of brine which give it an extra pungent kick.

So what does feta cheese taste like? Pretty much exactly what it smells like: funky and sour with a little bit of saltiness thrown in for good measure!

Feta cheese comes in a variety of styles, from creamy to crumbly. It’s usually milder than other types of cheeses with a stronger smell and taste. This makes it perfect for pairing with vegetables or fruits that have sweet flavors!

Why Does Feta Taste So Bad?

One reason may be that the acids in feta–lactic, acetic and citric–combine to create a strong, unpleasant taste. Additionally, because of the way feta is made, it can often have a bitter aftertaste.

It also has a high salt content which can make it taste salty or sour.

Lastly, the smell of feta cheese can be quite nauseating for some people. All of these factors combined make feta cheese one of the most polarizing foods in the world. Some people love its unique flavor, while others find it downright brutal.

What about Greek Feta?

Feta is popular around the world, especially in Greece where it originates from. In fact, feta plays such an important role in Greek cuisine that they consider it one of their national foods! Feta is also very common on Mediterranean-style menus so you’ll likely see some appear at your table next time you go out to eat at a restaurant like Olive Garden.

The taste of feta cheese varies based on the region it comes from. Greek feta is made with sheep or goat milk or both, which means it has a less sour aroma than Italian-style feta due to the culture’s different dairy practices.

Greek Feta has a distinctly more creamy texture as well as a complex flavor profile that leans towards the salty side. It’s often served with olives and other types of Mediterranean cuisine.

Feta and Zues

Feta cheese originated in Greece. In Greek mythology, Hades was sent by Zeus to kidnap Persephone from her parents because he wanted her as his wife. The Greeks believed that when he reached down into the ground, what stuck to his hands were some earthy smelling plants from Earth’s surface, now known as feta cheese.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it!

The taste of feta cheese is an acquired one, but for those who enjoy its funky and sour flavor, it’s definitely worth a try.

Feta pairs well with many different types of foods and can be used in a variety of dishes. So if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and give feta cheese a try! You might just find yourself liking it more than you thought you would! 🙂

I have also written this article about how long does feta last unrefrigerated, feel free to check out.

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