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I read a nice quote about cheese in a book that said, “When milk goes to sleep, it becomes cheese.” As a Turkish cheese lover, I have read many articles and watched programs about Turkish cheese types, but for some reason, this saying affected me the most.
Cheese, which has been produced for thousands of years in the world, is also a major source of nutrition in Turkish cuisine. There are many types of cheese in Turkey.
Although there are over 1,000 types of cheese produced in traditional ways or modern facilities, the varieties of cheese produced in homes, especially in rural areas, remain as hidden flavors known only in the regions where they are being made.
Turkish cuisine is home to many unique flavors, and these flavors have a distinctive place among the varieties of delicious cheese. Cheese is one of the main ingredients of many dishes and is also the most popular part of a famous Turkish breakfast. Since animal husbandry has developed in our country, cheeses with different characteristics are produced all over Turkey. On this list, I included cheese varieties from all over Anatolia, and each of them offers unique flavors.
Kars Gruyère Cheese
The gruyère cheese, which we often find in cartoons, is getting a distinct taste in the Kars province of our eastern Anatolian province. It turns out that Kars graves have fans all over the world, making it the most exported cheese of Turkey.
The most famous curd cheese used in both breakfast tables and pastries and desserts in Turkey are made in Manyas. Curd Cheese is an easy crumbly, unsalted cheese. It can also be consumed as an appetizer in the preparation of doughy foods, at breakfast, and mixed with various spices/herbs for dinner.
Ezine Cheese, King of Turkish Cheese
My number one is Ezine cheese. I don’t start breakfast without Ezine cheese. If it has been in storage for a year or two, Ezine cheese becomes best. Ezine cheese is traditionally produced in Canakkale city of Turkey. It is a white cheese variety that is creamy, oily cheese with small pores.
Van Herb Cheese
Flavored with fresh spices, Van herb cheese is usually made from sheep’s milk. It is produced in spring, as the milk of sheep is more abundant. After the prepared cheeses are salted, they are filled into clay pots and then buried under the ground. Rested under the ground for 3 to 7 months, Van Herb cheese gets the flavor of 25 different herbs placed in it! Van herb cheese is a must for Van breakfasts.
Black Sea Kolot Cheese
Colot, the famous cheese of the Black Sea region, is the main ingredient of ”Mıhlama”, one of the most popular Black Sea flavors. Milk obtained from animals eating a variety of herbs found in the plateaus of the Black Sea is produced by processing it under traditional production conditions. Kolot cheese is similar to ”Kashar” cheese in terms of its properties. Kolot cheese is usually made from whole cow’s milk.
Smoked Abhaza Cheese
This cheese, which is unique to Adapazarı and Bolu region, attains the legendary taste of Abhaza cheese made from full-fat milk bringing in a sooty taste in wood fire. Abhaza cheese is a slightly salty, low-fat, stranded, and fibrous cheese. It is worth trying with a unique taste.
Moldy Ardahan Cheese
Ardahan cheese made from lean cow’s milk turns green when it’s waited, so it’s called moldy cheese. This cheese, specific to Ardahan, is usually homemade. It is obtained from the milk of grazing animals in the pastures of Ardahan provinces. The immune system is the body’s primary defense mechanism. Mold cheese is an ideal food for strengthening this system. Green-colored mold in cheese is also considered antibiotic.
Gourmet Tour Guide for Culinary Tours in Turkey
Let’s explore the best cheese Turkey can offer together. Food is a passion for me and I will be happy to share it with you! Contact me to learn more about culinary tours in Turkey and to hire a gourmet tour guide in Turkey. You can also have a look at this nicely written article which is published by Turkey’s official news agency, ”Turkey’s cheese diversity”. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.