Friday, August 22, 2008

Turkish Cheese

Turkish Cheese

A jury made up of the food writers of the daily Hürriyet newspaper and gourmets chose the best regional cheeses in Turkey. We also benefited from the detailed information in Prof. Dr. Artun Ünsal's book.

Erzincan Tulumu
It is cheese produced in the mountainous areas of Erzincan mostly from sheep's milk. The specialty is that the cheese is encased in an animal skin. Erzincan tulumu is produced in Bingöl, Erzincan, Elazığ, Tunceli and Erzurum, and is called "Dawn Cheese". It is white and creamy, fatty with a butter aroma, and has a somewhat bitter taste. Sometimes Erzincan Tulumu is produced from fat-free milk, which may slightly change its original taste. Tulum has a strong taste; as such it is not suitable for breakfast.

Van Otlu Peyniri
This cheese is produced mostly from sheep's milk in spring when the sheep give birth and therefore the milk and the grass are plenty. Wild herbs from the surrounding mountains in Van (an East Anatolian city) are added to milk to make "Otlu" cheese, a pungent cheese. Sarmısakotu (literally garlic herb) is one of the most important factors giving the taste while the most important process is the yeasting stage. Apart from the added herbs, texture, and ingredients, it resembles white cheese. The cheese is edible 2-3 months after yeasting.

Kargı Tulumu
This "tulum" cheese is made from autumnl milk in a goat's skin. The tastes of tulum cheeses vary according to the region and the milk used and Kargı tulumu is one of them. This creamy cheese is made in Çankırı and Çorum - Central Anatolian cities - and is the best among tulum cheeses.

Kars Gravyeri
Kars is an eastern Anatolian city famous for its pastures and cattle. Kars gravyer cheese is made of high-fat cow's milk. It looks like French "gruyere" cheese, tastes like Swiss "emmental" cheese and takes a long time to produce. It usually takes 10 months to age. There are holes of 1-2 cm in the cheese, which is yellow while the outer crust should be darker. If the holes are both big and small and irregular, it means the cheese is not of good quality.

Izmir Tulumu
The way of making tulum cheese in the Aegean region is different from the other regions in Anatolia. Saltwater is used in İzmir tulum. It is made from sheep's or mixed milk, contains higher fat than the traditional tulum and is harder and saltier than white cheese. Good İzmir tulum should have holes the size of a bird's eye. Otherwise it is considered defective.

Eski Kaşar (old kaşar)
Kaşar (rich aged yellow) is a kind of cheese which Turks tasted and learned about after they settled in Anatolia. It is made from sheep's milk. The reason it is called Eski (old) Kaşar is that the cheese is aged in sacks in an icehouse for six months, after which it gets its taste. If it is made from pure sheep's milk. It can be kept for up to three years.

Bandırma Mihaliç peyniri
Bandırma mihaliç cheese from Balıkesir - Bursa is among the regional cheeses. It is white with roundish holes, hard and crusty and made from high-fat sheep's milk. When grated it is as good as Italians' Parma (parmesan) cheese. Mihaliç is also quite long-lasting.

Beyaz Peynir (white cheese)
Beyaz peynir (white cheese) is one of the most favorite kinds of cheeses in Turkey and every region has a different way of producing it, such as leaving it in saltwater or hanging it up and letting it filter. White cheese of Trakya (Thrace) and Marmara region, which is usually from sheep's milk and has a soft texture with high fat, is among the favorites. White cheese has various types such as high-fat, low-fat and even diet.

Karadeniz tel peyniri
This cheese is the product of Eastern Anatolia and the Eastern Black Sea region and is made from fat-free milk. When rubbed between the hands, it separates into fibers and therefore is called tel (fiber) cheese. The color is light yellow and since it is fat-free and rich in protein, tel peynir is recommended to those on diets.
Çerkez füme (fumed)
Çerkez Füme is especially produced in the eastern Marmara region. It is light yellow or cream-colored with a thick crust. Çerkez füme is a low-fat cheese with a beautiful aroma. After some special processes, the bottom and top of the cheese are salted and the outer surface is fumed with smoke coming from pinewood or thick pitch pine in special fuming rooms. This process makes the cheese both tastier and longer-lasting.


abbas said...

Turkish Cheese, I love it!

Maria said...

I already eat Turkish cheese its really tasty.

maria[zoot suit]