There is feta and there is feta and most people think there feta is the best. The story of feta shapes modern-day history and makes us ask ourselves how a country has one single cheese, and one single salad that makes the country so internationally popular. That’s a difficult to question answer in a single paragraph, or even in a small book.
But there is no doubt these two foods intersect Greek lifestyle, identify and have popularized the national identity of a country that prides itself on bright blue skies, sandy beaches and crystal blue waters.
Feta cheese has gone through several struggle in the last 50 years or so. There was a time when some producers abandoned the so-called DOP, when it was established because the government didn’t protect the DOP, a protected origin. So consequently Dutch producers bombarded the Greek market with plenty of cheap cow milk cheese and destroyed some of the best producers. The government turned a blind eye, and the rest is history.
Quality cheese producers in Greece couldn’t compete with the imported junk cow cheese and so the market collapsed. Now a days some of the best cheese is homemade and no doubt it isn’t commercial.
In fact last year in Mykonos, I was given the most exotic fat cheese, it was fermented to the core and was almost bubbling.And no it was not tainted, it was super-duper organic sheep milk cheese homemade: https://mesubim.com/2016/08/17/fermented-feta/
I recall twenty years ago I was in Rome and purchased a 5kg container of one of the best feta cheeses I had tasted. I thought how strange they are selling it in an Italian gourmet shop in the centre of Rome. So when I returned to Greece, I called the company to order another 5kg tin. To our shock they do not sell in Greece, and only export. I think that says it all.
On a side note: The country is filled with so much wealth, and natural beauty, yet the Greek Government hasn’t changed much, and while blaming the people for “Klepsi”, they are the masters of Klepsi! Klepsi makes more Klepsi, and instead of re-building the economy, helping and working with the citizens, they continue to over burden the country with high taxation, austerity and lack of control, or a vision.