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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Eat. . . Homemade feta cheese

My first attempt at feta cheese
Having recently discovered the delights of Wangapeka Downs Dairy, I was excited to try making my first cheese. Well, at least my first successful cheese! There had been one ill-fated attempt in January 2011 when I tried to make mozzarella but failed dismally, but the less said about that the better!

So I ordered some full cream raw milk from Wangapeka, and with some trepidation started to make my first ever feta cheese. I used the recipe in my cheese-making kit from Mapua Country Store, and it was surprisingly easy to produce perfectly edible results first time! I will show you what happened. . .

Milk heated to 31C, then culture and vegetarian rennet added, and left to form curds and whey.

Cutting the curds
Breaking the curds into "pea-sized" pieces
Preparing the feta mold
Packing the curds into the feta mold
Pressing the block of feta with a jar full of water - 8 hours each side
Unwrapping the block of pressed feta from the muslin
Sprinkling with salt to "cure" the cheese (I slightly over-did the salt quantities this time)
The finished feta cheese - firm, crumbly and salty, just like it should be!
For a first attempt, I think this feta cheese turned out remarkably well - I could hardly believe that it looked and tasted "just like the real thing!" However, it was just a little too salty for my tastes, so for the following week's batch I used a different technique for curing (rubbing in rather than sprinkling) and less salt in total, and was even happier with the results.

This is just the beginning of my adventures with cheese-making. I have my sights set on halloumi and ricotta next, then possibly another try at mozzarella, or a dalliance with mascarpone, hopefully building up to brie and Cheddar. Watch this space!! 


  1. Wow you make it look so easy! I am so inspired!

  2. Making feta cheese really is surprisingly easy, as long as you have the rennet and culture and good clean milk! Easy cheesy :) Go on, give it a go!!

  3. Looks amazing - well done!