Feta is a white cheese and is the most consumed cheese in Greece. It’s also the most widely exported Greek cheese. And feta cheese is exclusively Greek. In 2005, after sixteen years of hot debate, the European Union’s highest court decreed that «feta» is protected as a traditional Greek product, and that none of the other EU member nations can use the name.

Feta is a salted curd cheese made from either sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or a blend. It is sold in many degrees of firmness, ranging from soft and crumbly to fairly hard. Its flavor varies from mild to sharp. Because it is cured (from a week to several months) and stored in its own salty whey or water brine, feta is often referred to as a «pickled cheese.»

Feta does not have a rind or outer hard layer and is usually pressed into square or rectangular blocks. It dries out and sours quickly when removed from its brine; for that reason, blocks of packaged feta cheese are covered with brine, and should be stored, refrigerated, in the brine until used. Feta is available in most supermarkets as a solid block packed in brine, or crumbled.

Feta is used as an appetizer, side dish, and as an ingredient in salads, filled pies, and pastries. Its use in preparing and serving Greek food is almost as imperative as the use of olive oil. Feta may be used in most recipes that call for cheese: vegetable and fruit salads, filled pies, as a topping for or ingredient in cooked rice and tomato-based pastas, as a filling for omelets, in sandwiches, and elsewhere.

Feta has been a favorite cheese in Greece for many centuries.   Homer’s «Odyssey» contains several references to cheese which may have been feta cheese. In Greek mythology, the Cyclops Polyphemus was perhaps the first feta cheese manufacturer: carrying the milk that he collected from his sheep in animal-skin bags, he discovered that, days later, the milk had become a solid, savory, and preservable mass – the first feta cheese? Another tale from Greek mythology credits Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, with its discovery.

Clifford A. Wright, a writer and cook specializing in the regional cuisines of the Mediterranean and Italy, suggests that the word «feta» may be of ancient Italian origin. Wright says, «the word feta does not exist in classical Greek; it is a New Greek word, originally tyri pheta, or “cheese slice,” the word feta coming from the Italian word fette, meaning a slice of food.»

Source: About.com

I totally agree with the above article and that is the reason why I copied it as it is.  I read several other silly articles about feta which were outrageous as Bulgarians, Albanians Turks, Danish and French claim that they have the best feta.  Some of them even claim that Greek feta is made only of cows milk!!!!   How ignorant.  That cheese is called Telemes.

Regarding the origin of the word feta, Greek language has borrowed a lot of words not only from the Italian language but also from the English, French, Turkish etc.    These words came back to the Greek language transformed.   Here is an example you will all understand:

Μπιζέλι (το) < ιταλ. pisello < λατ. υποκοριστικό *pisellum < λατ. pisum < αρχαίο ελλ. πίσος (ο) | πίσον (το).

The word Μπιζέλι = mpizeli meaning (peas in English) in Italian pisello derived from the latin diminutive pisselum from latin pisum, which derived from the ancient Greek word πίσος (pisos) and in modern Greek it is now called mpizeli.

Greek is a very complex language and to understand ancient Greek it is even very difficult even for us, as well.

I made this one day when I was planning to make tzatziki, only to discover the last minute that the last yoghurt in the refrigerator was eaten by one of my children :)   I am so grateful they did because we loved it so much.

If you love tzatziki, I am sure you will love fetatziki (this is how words and recipes are born)!!!

I never imagined how well garlic would match feta.   It has a totally different taste than tzatziki and is more spicy and makes a perfect mezes for a glass of wine or ouzo.

I have been making it ever since and  this time I filled the cucumbers with this filling.   I decorated it with some Piperies Florinis, which are roasted red sweet peppers.  It was really very refreshing and delicious not to mention impressive.

I am sending this over to Zoe, of Zoe, Inspired Finds and Tastes, for the event Blogger Secret Ingredient:   Feta.

Stuffed Cucumbers with Fetatziki, Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4
Ingredients:
100 grams Greek feta
2 small cucumbers
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dill
A pinch of smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roasted red peppers or kalamata olives and dill for decoration (optional)

Directions:
Wash cucumbers and drain.  Carefully scoop out the inside of the cucumber with the gadget or use the back side of a fork or spoon, being careful not to open the edge.  Cut the tip of the cucumber so that it may stand up.
Put the inside of the cucumber in a food processor, add the cheese, olive oil, pepper and garlic. Process into a paste.
Mix in the dill.
Sprinkle the scooped cucumbers with a pinch of salt and fill in with the cheese mixture.
Decorate with some roasted pepper or black kalamata olives and dill.
Refrigerate before serving.
Note:
It is preferable to use small cucumbers which do not contain seeds and have less water.  Otherwise, seeds have to be removed and the cumber must be processed separately and drained.


I am sending this recipe to Yasmeen of Health Nut, as part I of her Event Well Balanced 3 Course Meals.

If you liked that, you may also like some more Tzatziki Recipes

Classic Tzatziki

Purslane Tzatziki amd Carrot tzatziki

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Χωρίς σχόλια on Stuffed Cucumbers with Fetatziki

  1. Ο/Η Aparna λέει:

    I think I’ll leave Greek alone and stick to food. :)
    This dip is something I like. I recently saw feta in a supermarket here but it was very expensive.
    We have an Indian cheese made from cow/ buffalo milk called paneer which I could use, except paneer is usually unsalted.

  2. Ο/Η Rosa λέει:

    A wonderful dip! I love feta cheese! It is so versatile and delicious…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Ο/Η Priya λέει:

    OMG! I love feta adn greek food so much, I sometimes think I must be greek at heart! Thi is an excellent dip for feta cheese lovers…I cannot thank you enough for this..I ma going to try this right away.
    σας ευχαριστώ τα μέγιστα!. Δείτε επίσης Was that right?

    Priya’s last blog post..Banana Buttermilk Pancake

  4. Ο/Η Lisa λέει:

    How inspired! Feta is definitely one of my very favorites. And the stuffed cucumbers are priceless.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Mung Beans with Mixed Vegetables

  5. Ο/Η Cakelaw λέει:

    Yum – never had fetatziki before, but it looks delish. I like feta cubed and eaten as is or tossed through a garden salad.

  6. Ο/Η Lakshmi λέει:

    I have never tasted feta cheese though I have heard of it. The dip looks creamy and perfect for pita bread probably :)

  7. Ο/Η Peter G λέει:

    What a great invention Ivy! And thanks for clearing up some of the myths associated with with the Feta name!

    Peter G’s last blog post..Parsnip Mash with Parmesan and Olive Oil

  8. Ο/Η Karine λέει:

    Everything with feta is always great. Your recipe looks sssssoooo yummy!

    Karine’s last blog post..Banana Mango Smoothie

  9. Ο/Η Parita λέει:

    Cucumber and feta is awesome combination! will definately be trying this soon!

    Parita’s last blog post..Radish and Tomato Rasam….My Style

  10. Ο/Η Angela from spinachtiger λέει:

    Ivy, I grew up eating greek feta, as most of our restaurants in town were owned by Greeks (lucky us…they were great, from diners to fancy). I am now fortunate enough to get authentic sheep’s milk greek feta in its brine at Trader Joe’s. It’s fantastic. I slurp the salty brine on the feta. It’s my snack with water crackers or we crumble in salad. We have it as a staple, can’t be out. It’s feta, parm reg and pecorino at all times…

    What an adorable dish!

  11. Ο/Η Niki λέει:

    I love feta w/ tzatziki. There is a cafe I go to that you can order the french fries as «Greek fries» which is feta cheese on top and a tzatziki to dip them in. The mixture of the feta cheese and the tzatziki is awesome, especially on fries!!!
    I also usually crumble feta in tzatziki before putting in on my gyros sandwiches. :)

  12. Ο/Η Mary McKnight λέει:

    Yum! I play around with different versions of tzatziki this time of year in an attempt to use all our cucumbers. I will make this today! And the cucumber cups are adorable.

  13. Ο/Η Susa λέει:

    It looks delicious and inspiring! Thank you for creating such a appetizingly recipe!

    Susa’s last blog post..Sofrito – Schmorgericht mit Tomaten und Knoblauch

  14. Ο/Η Liz λέει:

    I’ve never had it but I would definitely try it and like it I am sure!

    Liz’s last blog post..We found a house

  15. Ο/Η City Girl λέει:

    Ivy – thank you for your kind comments on my blog. I am going to actually answer your question regarding how I managed my diet in light of the fact I don’t live alone in a post this Sunday – it’s such a question, I want to use it and some others I got as a post.

    The short answer, so you dont have to wait until Sunday, is that it’s just my husband and I (we don’t have any children) and that my husband is very supportive and helpful. We actually split the meal planning, food shopping and cooking between the two of us, so when it became clear I had to do this restricted diet for my health, he and i discussed how to incorporate it into our lives without 1. him feeling like he was on the diet too and 2. us having to cook two meals, ie one for him and one for me, all the time. The main solutions we came up with are:

    1. making grilled vegetables and/or salads we can both eat, but then making different proteins (usually steamed or grilled fish for me and grilled chicken or sausages for him).

    2. making a pasta sauce we can both eat, but making two kinds of pastas (mine has rice flour while his is regular durum semolina pasta) – it only means one extra pot that way.

    3. vegetarian tacos which he likes and i can eat (I use rice tortillas and he uses regular tortillas) – we often make those, and sometimes he adds a bit of chorizo to his if we have some leftover in the fridge from another meal, but sometimes he just eats the vegetarian version.

    It helps that before this we were already doing some of this type of balancing (ie i had been losing weight successfully without making different meals for myself, but making some modifications compared to his meals) before – but honestly, he’s been very supportive and understanding :)

    Also – there have definitely been times where he wanted to eat out but since i couldnt, he would get it as takeout and i would just eat whatever i was planning to eat for myself – it’s worked pretty well overall. :)

    City Girl’s last blog post..{Detox Diet Diaries} Disclaimers and the Diet Itself

  16. Ο/Η lisaiscooking λέει:

    Your hollowed cucumbers look great! And, your fetaziki sounds delicious. It looks so festive with the roasted peppers and dill.

    lisaiscooking’s last blog post..Tin Roof Sundae

  17. Ο/Η Peter λέει:

    I’ve made sauces & dips similar to this and yes…Feta and garlic do go well, and why not? Your appetizer plate is well…making me hungry!

    Peter’s last blog post..Tonka Bean Creme Caramel

  18. Ο/Η Joan Nova λέει:

    That’s a natural combination and a little more liquified, it would also make a great salad/vegetable dressing. P.S. Your blog is really looking good!

  19. Ο/Η Susan from Food Blogga λέει:

    Fetaziki? It’s brilliant, Ivy! And oh-so-fun to say. Fetaziki. Fetaziki. Fetaziki. ;)

    Susan from Food Blogga’s last blog post..The Mexican Torta: It’s One Big Belly-Busting Sandwich

  20. Ο/Η cakebrain λέει:

    I haven’t had anything like this dip but the ingredients are so appealing and I do love feta and tzatziki! What a great combo!

  21. Ο/Η Poornima λέει:

    That is a delicious dish. It was great reading everything about feta cheese, I love its flavor.

    Poornima’s last blog post..Garam Masala

  22. [...] I am also sending this recipe to Yasmeen of Health Nut, as part II of her Event Well Balanced 3 Course Meals.  See part I here. [...]

  23. Ο/Η elly λέει:

    I enjoy adding feta to my tzatziki sometimes too. I didn’t know that «feta» was a protected name/product of Greece!

    elly’s last blog post..Spicy Baked Chicken with Toasty Arbol Chile Salsa and Peaches

  24. Ο/Η Kevin λέει:

    I have enjoyed feta dips with roasted red peppers and a fetaziki sounds really good!

  25. [...] of Health Nut, for her event Well Balanced 3 Course Meals.  I have already posted the starter, Fetatziki and the Apricot Meringue Dessert. In this picture the dessert is mpezes (meringue) with yoghurt [...]

  26. Oh, this is such a good idea! This sounds really good.

    _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver’s last blog post..Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, on Grilled Flank Steak

  27. Ο/Η Tim λέει:

    I love this! Reminds me of the “feta ghanoush” I made the other day when I was similarly short of yoghurt.

  28. [...] Fetatziki var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_localize = { Share: "Share", Save: "Save", Subscribe: "Subscribe", Email: "E-mail", Bookmark: "Bookmark", ShowAll: "Show all", ShowLess: "Show less", FindServices: "Find service(s)", FindAnyServiceToAddTo: "Instantly find any service to add to", PoweredBy: "Powered by", ShareViaEmail: "Share via e-mail", SubscribeViaEmail: "Subscribe via e-mail", BookmarkInYourBrowser: "Bookmark in your browser", BookmarkInstructions: "Press Ctrl+D or ⌘+D to bookmark this page", AddToYourFavorites: "Add to your favorites", SendFromWebOrProgram: "Send from any e-mail address or e-mail program", EmailProgram: "E-mail program" }; a2a_config.linkname="Tzatziki or Talatouri"; a2a_config.linkurl="http://kopiaste.org/2007/11/tz.....&quot;; [...]

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