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Türkiye’s Rich Cheese Culture Captivates Visitors

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Türkiye’s Rich Cheese Culture Captivates Visitors

October 17
13:15 2023

Turkish cuisine is impressive for its rich variety, unique delicacies, and diverse cheeses produced in different regions. The rich biodiversity generated by the climate unique to other areas of Turkey is the basis of these flavours. Due to the varying climatic conditions, milk and cheese have individual tastes and aromas in each region. Türkiye’s impressive cheese selection is revealed when combined with the various production methods. “Ezine White Cheese”, “Konya Blue Cheese”, “Erzincan Tulum Cheese”, “Kars Aged Kasar and Gruyere”, and “Van Herby Cheese” are only a few Turkish delicacies… Let’s discover Türkiye’s most famous cheese types, an essential ingredient in local cuisine.

‘White Cheese’: From Edirne to Çanakkale

“Beyaz Peynir” (White Cheese) is an essential component of Turkish breakfasts and one of the most favoured delicacies in the country. The characteristic taste, aroma, and texture of this cheese, produced in almost every region of Türkiye, vary on the climate, milk source, and traditional production methods. Çanakkale and Edirne are considered the homeland for white cheese. Edirne white cheese is produced from the milk of sheep, goats, and cows that are fed with regional grasses in the deltas of the Tunca, Meriç, Arda, and Ergene rivers. Edirne white cheese’s main distinctive feature is additive-free; only milk, yeast, and salt are used. Ezine white cheese, named after the Ezine district of Çanakkale, is another traditional and crucial white cheese on Turkish breakfast tables. This cheese, which can be produced with a soft, medium, or firm texture, gets its exceptional taste and flavour from the milk of cows, sheep, or goats fed with natural plant and mineral resources in the Kaz Mountains.

Balikesir: Home of 50 Different Cheese Types

Mihaliç cheese is an old cheese produced in Türkiye for centuries. Unlike white cheese, its production is limited to just a few areas of the country, with Balikesir and Bursa being the prime examples. Mihaliç cheese is typically made from goat or cow milk and stored in brine before it hardens and dries. Because of its sharp, salty taste, it is used in many dishes after grilling, including salads. Like other cheeses, it is used in appetisers and side dishes accompanying main courses.

Regarding Balikesir, we come across 50 different types of cheese. The city’s multicultural structure, products made from varying kinds of milk, and diverse production methods have turned it into a ‘real cheese paradise’. The “Kelle” cheese, made using various milks and techniques, is famous in all regions of this beautiful city on the Marmara-Aegean border. Sepet (basket) cheeses produced from sheep-goat milk, brined Tulum cheeses and lor (curd) cheeses made from whey are also recognised as Türkiye’s most delicious cheeses.

Mouldy Cheeses of the Cappadocia Region

Nigde’s mouldy blue cheese, which is geographically located in Cappadocia, is one of Türkiye’s most unique cheese types. Nigde blue is put into caves at a depth of 15 metres, where it will ripen for seven months. This cheese becomes flavoured and blue after seven months and is also a natural antibiotic. Another traditional cheese ripened in caves is Karaman’s Divle Obruk cheese. This cheese dates back nearly 700 years and is produced from the milk of sheep and goats fed on plateaus and grasslands rich in medicinal herbs. The cheese is kept in caves with a unique mould flora for five months and is first coated with blue mould, then white and finally red mould. Konya is another city in the region known for its mouldy cheese. With its centuries-old history and flavour, Konya mouldy cheese is made only with milk and yeast and moulded in special rooms. Once given to Ottoman soldiers as an antibiotic, this cheese is served after a 6-month production process.

Exceptional Tastes of the East: A Real Cheese Paradise

The Eastern Anatolia Region is also famous for its original cheeses. Erzincan Tulum cheese, Kars aged kasar cheese and Van’s Herby cheese are among the tastiest cheeses in this region. The secrets to the taste of these cheeses are the high plateaus, rich plant diversity and fresh and cool air. Tulum cheese has an exceptional flavour due to the use of raw milk and natural yeast and is ready for consumption after 2-3 months of pressing and keeping in hair goat or sheep skin.

Kars’ popularity stems mainly from its cheeses. The cows’ milk grazing on the fields, which have 1,600 flowering species, around 100 of which are endemic, is used for producing the city’s signature products: Kars Kasar and gruyere. The city’s geographically indicated product, the Kars Kasar cheese, might take up to ten months to mature before it is consumed. In addition to tasting this delicious cheese, you can learn about the methods used to make traditional handmade cheese at the Cheese Museum in the city centre and the Cheese Museum in Bogatepe Village.

Van is another destination that enchants travellers with its rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine. This city is also home to Van Breakfast, one of Türkiye’s most prosperous breakfast tables. And the Herby cheese is the star of this breakfast. Van Herby cheese is made by mixing sirmo, locally known as “wild garlic” in the region, with local endemic herbs such as heliz, mendo, siyabo, thyme, and wild mint. The cheese, buried in the ground in cans and earthenware jars, is taken out after three to seven months. The taste and aroma of the famous herby cheese, a lightly crumbled, hard cheese, is shaped by geography and the climate.

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About Turkish Cultural and Tourism Office in Dubai

The Turkish Cultural and Tourism Office in Dubai is the official representative of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism. One of the main aims of the Tourism Office is to bridge the gap between cultures and foster relationships with the travel industry by organizing promotional activities throughout the GCC. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism participates in travel exhibitions and conferences to position the country as a leading tourist destination. With its breath-taking views, unique historical and archaeological sites, steadily improving hotel and touristic infrastructure, and a tradition of hospitality and competitive prices, it’s no wonder Turkey is among the most sought-after travel destinations in the world.

The primary functions of The Turkish Cultural and Tourism Office in Dubai are:

• Supervises all promotional activities relating to Turkey in the GCC

• Liaise with travel agencies

• Organizes roadshows to further promote Turkey as a destination for leisure, shopping, health, sports and invest in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) Middle East market.

Media Contact
Company Name: MAS – Media & Advertising Specialist FZ-LLC
Contact Person: Ameen Nassar
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Country: United Arab Emirates