The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Feta. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What Feta etiquette is
Feta etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Feta. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow Feta etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.
What you should know about Feta
Feta is a fresh cheese from Greece. In the European Union (EU), only mainland Greece and the island of Lesbo can legally produce it and brand it Feta.
Feta is made of sheep’s and goat’s milk. Cheesemakers can use milk from other animals too, such as cow’s milk. However, sheep’s and goat’s milk must be at least 70%. Its minimum aging time is 3 months.
The cheese is soft, compact, and crumbly in texture. It is white in color. Its flavor is tangy and salty.
There are two main varieties. Soft and firm. Firm Feta has a sharper taste and is usually of better quality.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat Feta
1) How to store Feta
Store Feta in the fridge. It can last for 3 to 4 weeks. After opening it, keep it in its original packaging. Or place it in a sealed container. Keep it in brine. Alternatively, mix water with milk and a pinch of salt.
In the freezer, Feta can last for up to 6 months. Before freezing it, drain it from the brine.
Store dishes with cooked Feta in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 or 5 days.
2) How to clean Feta
You do not need to wash Feta. Just drain the brine.
If you notice a foul smell or mold on its surface, Feta has gone bad. You should discard it immediately.
3) How to cook Feta
Feta is popular in salads. It is a common ingredient in Pita flatbread. While its texture is too crumbly for sandwiches.
You can bake or grill Feta. Or use it as an ingredient for savory pies, pastries, or omelets. It is not common with pasta or pizza. However, it is perfect for a pasta salad.
4) How to serve & present Feta
Serve Feta as an appetizer or a side dish. It is uncommon to serve Feta as a cheese course after the meal. Also, it is not appropriate for a cheese platter.
Present it sliced in cubes. It is not common to serve whole blocks of Feta.
Accompany it with olives and bread. You can season it with olive oil, oregano, and cracked black pepper.
Serve Feta at room temperature or slightly chilled. You can take it out of the fridge between 10 and 30 minutes before serving.
5) Food and wine to pair Feta with
Feta pairs well with many fresh vegetables. Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Olives. Peppers. Onions.
It does not always pair well with meat, fish, and seafood. A few exceptions are burgers, anchovies, or grilled shrimp.
Its flavor is too sharp for most fruits. You can pair it with delicate fruits, such as watermelon or cantaloupe. Feta can also go well with honey, mint, and almonds.
Pair Feta with white wines. Soave. Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, with a low-tannin red wine. Such as Valpolicella or Pinot Noir.
6) How to eat Feta
Eat Feta with a fork. Using a knife is not necessary and uncommon.
Firm Feta has a crumbly texture and does not spread well. You can spread soft Feta varieties with a knife.
Feta is a moist cheese, with a pungent odor. Do not eat it with your fingers.
Feta etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst Feta etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Serving spoiled Feta.
- 5/10. Eating Feta with your fingers.
- 3/10. Serving Feta as a cheese course at the end of a meal.
Additional information for properly serving Feta
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Feta contains 274 calories per 100 grams. A cube is around 17 grams and contains 45 calories.
How to buy the best Feta
A crucial factor in Feta etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Feta is available all year round.
Choose the best
High-quality Feta must come from Greece or the island of Lesbo. It should be firm, white in color, and have an aroma of milk and yogurt.
Alternatives to Feta
Similar products are soft, fresh cheeses from goat’s milk. Instead of grilled Feta, try Halloumi.