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DODONI Headquarters
1, Tagmatarchi Kostaki Street
45500 Eleousa
Ioannina, Greece

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Frequently Asked Questions

About PDO: Protected Designation of Origin

What is PDO?

PDO, or Protected Designation of Origin, is a European designation reserved for products that originate from a specific place or region, where their unique qualities or characteristics are a result of the area’s particular natural or human factors, and the production processes that take place within that defined geographical area.

About Feta

Where does the name feta come from?

Literally translated from Greek, feta means “Slice”. In Greece, the first documented reference to cheese can date back as early as 8th Century BC, and the origins of cheese production utilised both sheep’s and goat’s milk.

Why is some feta greasy and others not?

According to PDO regulation, feta must contain at least 43% fat. Properly matured feta (for a minimum of two months) should not feel greasy in the mouth. Feta with a higher fat level will be greasier. Products with less than 43% fat, cannot be named feta and must be called white cheese.

Why is feta packed in liquid?

Feta is packed in the brine or salted water which it has been matured in. This means it absorbs some of the flavour which gives feta its iconic salty taste. We make our own brine at DODONI, using only the best quality sea-salt, sourced locally in Greece, and the water comes from our own natural wells. The maximum moisture level of feta is regulated and should not exceed 56%. Over time some of the moisture is released which is why you can find some brine in vacuum-packed feta, but it can also be packaged in plastic tubs, which helps the product retain more moisture and gives the cheese a stronger flavour for longer, which some people prefer.

Should I wash my feta before I use it?

Feta is ready to consume, straight from the pack. The liquid (brine) is part of the process of maturing the cheese, meaning it adds to the unique flavour, and is safe to eat. So no need to wash before enjoying!

Is feta made with preservatives?

Feta PDO is a totally natural product. DODONI uses no preservatives, colourants, powdered milk or other additional ingredients – simply fresh sheep and goat’s milk, vegetarian rennet and natural cultures, following the strict specifications of the PDO regulation.

What is feta made of?

Real feta is made from Greek sheep & goat’s milk, with a minimum of 70% sheep milk. That is what makes feta taste different from other white cheese or salad cheese which may be produced with cow’s milk or even oils. Other than milk, only rennet is used to curdle the milk, and specific cultures to mature the cheese. We source our milk from thousands of producers spread across hundreds of villages in Greece. We only use vegetarian rennet so that our feta is suitable for vegetarians and we use our own cultures, developed over generations to mature the cheese.

Are there different feta’s with different types of milk ratios?

PDO feta must be made using a mixture with a minimum of 70% sheep milk, the rest can only be goat’s milk, up to 30%. The milk can only be sourced locally from a specific region of Greece, so not from imported milk.

Why can only some cheeses be called feta?

Feta is a cheese with a protected designation of origin (PDO). To qualify for PDO status the dairy must adhere to the specifications and regulations set out by the Authority. Feta PDO can be produced only in seven specific areas of Greece with milk from sheep and goats that graze in that area. So just like only sparkling wine from the Champagne region can be called Champagne, and Jersey Royals can only come from Jersey, feta can only be from Greece.

What happens if I cook feta – will it melt?

Yes! Feta will melt and become softer, but it will not become sticky like gouda or mozzarella. In fact, Greeks cook with feta almost as much as it’s used in salads. It is used in pies, on pasta, for omelettes and even grilled as feta saganaki. Take a look at our recipe pages for some more inspiration! If you’re looking for a cheese that holds its form when grilled or fried, try our halloumi recipes. 

Why does feta have such a long shelf life?

The way feta is matured and kept in brine means that it stays fresh for a longer time. The quality of the milk and the production also impacts the shelf life.

As your product is vacuum-packed does it need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it does need to be stored in the fridge to keep it at the right temperature. After opening it is best to consume it within 4 days. For Feta in brine, it is 8 days after opening.

Can I buy barrel feta?

Feta PDO can be matured either in metal tins or in oak barrels. Barrel-aged feta has a stronger taste than tin matured feta, and even more so if matured for more than two months in the barrel. DODONI ages its barrel-feta from between three and six months for an incredibly strong taste and is available only in selected stores.

Are there different flavours of feta? 

The PDO rules do not allow for feta to be mixed with other ingredients like herbs or spices during the production process. Aside from the cheesemakers’ personal touch, the flavour of the actual feta will depend on the quality of the milk, the freshness of the milk, where it comes from and the live cultures used. DODONI sources its milk from the region of Epirus, which is a mountainous region in North-East Greece. Without any polluting industry, the animals here graze on fresh grass and 2,500 unique herbs to help flavour the products.

Are there different grades of feta? What is Salad Cheese?

According to the EU legislation, only those cheeses produced in a traditional way in certain areas of Greece, which are made from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk from the same area, can be called feta – the rest is white cheese that resembles feta but does not have such a full taste, and is normally produced mainly from cow’s milk. Each feta producer will have milk coming from a different terrain, use different starting cultures and may produce or age the cheese differently.

Why do some DODONI Feta slices show the imprint shape of a stamp?

Feta is produced in blocks and then sliced after maturation. Since 1994, we have produced our feta cheese in moulds that bear the company’s trademark and name. That way you can be sure you’re buying a genuine feta and can be confident in the quality and providence of the product you are enjoying! Not all slices carry the whole logo, it might just be a part of it – but you’ll still know it’s authentic DODONI Feta.

How much is a portion of feta and how many calories is this?

Feta contains 257 calories per 100g of product, of which 21g is fat, 17g proteins, 2.5g salt, and no sugars or carbohydrates. In Greece ,a family of four would easily use one slice for a proper Choriatiki or Greek salad but in the UK people tend to use a little less. Just keep what you did not use and try sprinkling into soups or salads, jacket potatoes or enjoy with olives as a nibble with drinks – it’s extremely versatile.  

Does feta contain any allergens?

Yes, as all milk-based products, it contains lactose, but a very small amount (usually 0.5% but sometimes a little higher). Hence compared to most cheeses it is relatively low in lactose due to the sheep and goat’s milk.

Is feta low in fat?

All cheeses contain fat, coming from the milk. Feta contains about 21% fat (and 16% saturated fats) which is less than most white cheeses, and a third less than many yellow cheeses. It is possible to take out cream from the milk to make reduced fat cheese, but this changes the taste profile and it can no longer be called feta due to the PDO standards.

About Halloumi

Where does the name halloumi come from?

While the exact origin of the word remains a mystery, the earliest recorded use of the term dates back to Florio Bustron in 1554. One theory suggests that the word may have derived from the ancient Greek term ‘άλμη’ (álmi), which means brine and is pronounced as ‘salume’ in Italian (where it also means sausage). However, the true etymology of the word remains a topic of debate and intrigue, adding to the mystery and allure of this beloved cheese.

How is halloumi made?

Halloumi is made from a blend of pasteurised cow, sheep and goat’s milk, containing natural sea salt and vegetarian rennet. It is folded and scented with dried mint following an age-old production method.

Does it never melt?

One of the many things that makes halloumi so different is that is doesn’t melt during cooking, so it can be enjoyed fried or grilled. It is the perfect addition to give texture and even crunch to a huge range of different recipes.

Is there some preservative used to stop it melting?

DODONI Halloumi is absolutely natural and made from the freshest Cypriot milk. The cheese is formed using vegetarian rennet, meaning there is no addition of acid culture. This keeps the pH of the product very close to neutral, allowing it to have high melting point and so it keeps its shape during grilling.

Should I grill, fry or bake it?

The great thing about halloumi is that it is so versatile and ideal for frying, grilling, baking or enjoying chilled just as it is. There is no other cheese like it.

Should I wash my halloumi to get rid of the extra salt in the brine?

While our halloumi is packed without brine, some of the brine can be released from the cheese in the packaging, this is absolutely normal, and is safe to consume. If it is washed before enjoying it will lose some of its saltiness.

How long does halloumi last once opened?

Once you have opened the packaging, halloumi should be consumed within 3 days when stored in an airtight container in your fridge (0-6°C).

How much is a portion of halloumi and how many calories is this?

DODONI Halloumi is sold in vacuum packs of 250g. It has 317 calories per 100g, of which 24g is fat, 23g proteins, 1g sugars and 3g salt.

Does halloumi contain any allergens?

Halloumi cheese is a dairy product and is therefore considered allergenic since it contains milk.

How much protein does halloumi have, as I’ve heard it’s often used as a meat substitute?

Halloumi has 23g of protein per 100g of product, which is considered high. Therefore, it is perfect for vegetarians looking to substitute meat. It also has a pleasant firm texture which is often said to be similar to meat.

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