It is produced from sheep's or cow's milk. Rennet curdles the milk, then it is strained. The curd is salted in brine and packed into tins. It is eaten mostly at breakfast. In addition, it is the main ingredient in appetisers, especially when served with our traditional drink "Rakı". White cheese is also one of the ingredients in an omelette or is put on macaroni. "Börek" is a national food consumed at each meal everywhere in Turkey. Dough prepared with flour, water, salt and eggs, is rolled out wafer-thin, and placed on top of each other with oil in between. Various fillings are put between the layers which are then baked. Cheese is mostly used as a filling for börek.
Cheese is one of the nature's most tasty foods. It is eaten by everyone with great pleasure. Cheese is not only a substantial food because of its taste but it also has high nutritional value. Milk, which is itself a great source of nutrition, is processed and made into cheese. The main substance in cheese is "casein", a protein which has no equal in nature. In addition to being rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A, cheese is an important nutritional source for life.
Another reason for its vast consumption is that it can easily be digested and it aids in the digestion of other foods. This property of cheese is due to rennet which is used to curd milk. The cheese was made in ancient times and was found to be a very substantial food for man. We know that even in the Babylonian Civilisation in 2000 B.C. cheese production was quite advanced.Today in Turkey, 60% of the annual 10 million tonnes of milk is processed as cheese. Although the tastiest cheese is made from sheep's milk, only 10% of cheese production is produced from sheep's and goat's milk, with the remainder from cow's milk. Cheese consumption differs considerably from other countries in Turkey. The most wide-spread consumption of cheese other than at breakfast is when it is eaten with fruit or as a sort of dessert after lunch or dinner. However, in our country, cheese and olives are a must on the breakfast table. The variety of cheese depends on certain factors: cultural habits and tastes, natural conditions, the species and variety of the animals providing the milk, and the production methods employed. We have more than 100 types of cheese in our country, but when they are grouped according to their similarities, we have around 30 different kinds of cheese.
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