We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Kefalotiri?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Kefalotiri is a traditional Greek hard cheese that has been produced in that country and the neighboring regions for hundreds of years. In Greece, this cheese is quite popular, and it can be found at most markets and cheese shops. Many regional recipes call for kefalotiri, which has a distinctive mild, salty flavor. Outside of Greece, specialty markets and import stores sometimes stock this cheese, and some cheese stores can order it for their customers. It is also possible to order it directly from its producers.

By tradition, only sheep or goat's milk can be used to produce kefalotiri. Both of these milks have a distinctive tangy flavor that mellows as the cheese ages, although there is a distinctive bite to it that makes the final product especially savory. The cheese is heated, curdled, and packed into molds that roughly resemble a kefalo, a type of hat. Once the cheese firms up, it is removed from the molds and allowed to age for three to four months before it is sent to market.

The color of kefalotiri varies, depending on the ratio of sheep's to goat's milk and the time of year. At some times of the year, it turns out almost white, while in other reasons it is a rich golden yellow. In both cases, the cheese hardens as it ages, forming irregular holes that dapple the hardened cheese along with a solid rind. Most producers stamp their kefalotiri so that it will be readily identifiable; if a consumer has access to a whole wheel of this cheese, he or she should be able to find the date it was produced and the name of the cheese maker or dairy that produced it.

Because kefalotiri is so hard, it is ideal for a grated table cheese. Greeks use the cheese like the Italian Parmesan, as a grated topping for a wide assortment of foods. It can also be grated onto roasts, gratins, and grilled dishes, and some recipes also call for a blend of cheeses including kefalotiri. Spanakopita, for example, often includes a liberal sprinkling of it in the cheese, egg, and spinach mixture which gives this dish its name.

In some regions, cooks cut wedges of kefalotiri and fry or grill them. The fried cheese is often breaded and rolled in egg before frying, while grilled kefalotiri is left plain and paired with olives, tomatoes, and other simple ingredients. A slice of cheese can also be enjoyed plain or with a slice of bread.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By aviva — On Jun 27, 2011

@goldensky - Kefalotiri is pretty hard to find in many places. Fortunately I live near a Greek community so I have access to it whenever I'm in the area.

But I don't always have it on hand when I'm cooking. As a matter of a fact, come to think of it, I used sliced Parmesan cheese in my last saganaki recipe.

It turned out great and my kids liked it better than the goat cheese. Imagine that!

By goldensky — On Jun 24, 2011

I've been invited to a pot-luck toga party next week which should be loads of fun. I have a recipe for Greek meatballs that I would like to bring to the party.

I want to serve them on a platter with homemade saganaki cheese and lemon wedges. My problem is I can't buy that cheese anywhere near me.

Does anyone know if there is a good kefalotiri cheese substitute that I could use? Thanks in advance.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.