Turkish cheeses: discover these milky delights!
Turkish Cheeses: A Culinary Journey Through Turkey
Turkey, with its rich culinary history, offers an astonishing variety of cheeses. These Turkish cheeses (peynir), each with its own unique character, play a crucial role in Turkish cuisine. Here’s a guide to exploring these milky delights.
Our Selection of Turkish Cheeses
1. Beyaz Peynir : Turkish Essentials
Beyaz Peynir, similar to feta, is a mainstay of Turkish cuisine. This salty, crumbly Turkish white cheese is perfect for breakfast, in salads such as cucumber and tomato salad, and even in böreks.
2. Kaşar: The all-purpose Turkish cheese
Kaşar, a semi-hard cheese, is a favorite for its mild flavor and ability to melt. Excellent in sandwiches, on pizzas and in gratins, it’s also delicious when simply sliced and served with bread.
Kasar comes in two versions: Taze Kaşar and a more aged version (for 6 months), called Eski Kaşar, which has a yellowish hue and a stronger taste.
3. Tulum Peyniri: the aromatic cheese
Tulum Peyniri, known for its strong flavor and creamy texture, is traditionally aged in goat skins. It is exceptional in mezzes, crumbled over salads or served with warm bread.
4. Van Otlu Peynir : Turkish Herbed Cheese
This unique cheese, infused with wild herbs, offers an explosion of flavors. Enjoy it with olives, Turkish bread and salads, adding a distinctive, fresh taste.
5. Dil Peynir : Spun cheese
Dil Peynir, recognizable by its spun-braided shape, is distinguished by its elastic texture and slightly salty taste. This is the cheese used to make the legendary Turkish Kunefe. This cheese is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack, accompanied by melon or watermelon. It also goes well with sweet jams, offering a perfect balance between sweet and salty.
6. Kars Gravyeri: Mountain Refined
Inspired by Swiss Gruyère, Kars Gravyeri is a hard cheese produced in the mountainous region of Kars. Its prolonged ripening gives it a rich, nuanced flavor, with hints of walnut. Ideal on its own, in sandwiches or grated over pasta.
7. Örgü Peyniri: Braided Turkish Cheese
Örgü Peyniri, a hand-woven cheese, is as much a visual delight as a taste experience. It is distinguished by its elastic texture and slightly salty taste. This cheese is a staple of Turkish breakfasts, and can be enjoyed on its own or with fresh fruit.
8. Füme Çerkez Peyniri: Caucasian Smoked Cheese
Füme Çerkez Peyniri, with its distinctive smoky aroma, comes from the Circassian culinary tradition. This semi-hard cheese offers a dense texture and a unique smoky flavor, ideal for adding a touch of character to your dishes or for enjoying in thin slices.
9. Mihaliç Peyniri: Rustic cheese from Marmara
Mihaliç Peyniri, produced in the Marmara region, is a hard, crumbly Turkish cheese with a rich, slightly salty taste. It’s perfect for gratins, pides, or simply enjoyed with olives and fresh bread.
You’ll find most of these Turkish cheeses in tins in specialized grocery stores or supermarkets like Carrefour.
Traditional Turkish Cheese Recipes :
- Beyaz Peynir Börek or Sigara Boregi: Crisp sheets of filo pastry stuffed with Beyaz Peynir and parsley.
- Kaşar Pide: Turkish pizzas topped with melted Kaşar, often accompanied by minced meat or vegetables.
- Tulum Peyniri salad: crumbled Tulum Peyniri mixed with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and parsley.
- Otlu Peynir omelette: Omelette enriched with Otlu Peynir and fine herbs, perfect for a tasty brunch.
Turkish cheeses, with their varied textures and flavors, offer a rich and diverse palette of tastes. Whether at breakfast, in hot dishes or as a snack, they add an authentic, tasty touch to many Turkish dishes.