When someone mentions the cheeses of Crete, they certainly add to the “picture” the mizithra, the gruyere and the athotyro.
In Crete, cheese is consumed in every hour of the day, from morning until late at night, as an accompaniment or as a main meze, an appetizer or even as a dessert.
It is never absent from the Cretan table and its quality competes with those of top quality cheeses abroad.
ATHOTYROS: Soft cheese made from a mixture of whey and fresh milk, with cohesive mass and minimum salt, without skin; produced from sheep and goat milk. It matures over time and with the help of salt, hardens and loses moisture and becomes suitable for spaghetti. When matured, it looks as if coated with ashes.
MIZITHRA: A simple cheese, almost of primitive cheese-making, where the milk is converted into cheese with natural acidification. Delicious, soft and a little sour, it is considered ideal for the Cretan dakos.
GRUYERE: Goat and sheep’s milk cheese with a slightly salty taste and full of the milk’s butter and proteins. However, the best quality is achieved when it is produced from pure sheep’s milk. It is eaten in literally every way!