Meet the Kasseri PDO cheese
"Kasseri" is one of the most popular cheeses in Greece, with a large consumption per capita and a history of many decades. The forerunner of the Kasseri cheese is considered to be Casio Cavallo (with Italian origin). During the 19th century, this cheese was distributed to various countries where it became known by various names. Depending on the country, about fourteen variants have been identified in the pronunciation of the name.
In Greece, it is believed to have spread between 1885 and 1890 firstlu in Thessaly, via Romania, Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, called "kaskalavi", which was gradually replaced by the name "Kasseri".
The name Kasseri has been recognized as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) since 1994 for semi-hard cheese traditionally produced in the regions of Macedonia and Thessaly and the prefectures of Lesvos and Xanthi, sheep's milk or goat's mixture (in a proportion no higher than 20%), which comes exclusively from the same areas. Cheese is manufactured and ripened exclusively in establishments located in the defined areas.
Milk specification for cheese production
The milk used to make the cheese must meet the following requirements:
• to come from breeds of sheep and goat traditionally reared, adapted to the cheese-making area and their diet should be based on the flora of this area
• the coagulation to be done within 48 hours of milking and until the coagulation to be maintained under controlled temperature conditions
• to be fresh or pasteurized
• to have a fat content of at least 6% by weight and to come from ameliorations occurring at least 10 days after the birth
In the case of milk intended for the production of Kasseri cheese, traditional rennet or other enzymes with similar effect are added. When the milk is pasteurized, it is possible to add an acid-bacterial culture of bacteria as well as calcium chloride up to 20 grams per 100 kilograms of milk.
Concentration, powder or milk proteins, carbohydrates, dyes, preservatives and antibiotics adding are prohibited.