Did you know ? Like our good old camembert, feta has a protected designation. However, the shelves of our supermarkets are invaded by pseudo-Greek cheeses that have nothing to do with real feta. How to differentiate them and make the right choice?
Ah the feta, its little white cubes on a salad with tomatoes and olive oil! Does it smell good in summer? Yes, but on condition that you pay attention to the labels! The success of this Greek cheese has led to the arrival of many copies in recent years, barely hampered by the granting of a controlled designation of origin in 2002. “This does not prevent many manufacturers or distributors from mentioning Greece on products that have the same format, the same appearance, generally at a lower price”, points out Audrey Morice of Footwatch, questioned by 60 Million consumers. They are up to half the price of PDO feta… but also with a sometimes very different taste.
But then what are these “fake fetas” worth that do not respect the specifications to bear the name but play on ambiguity with attractive visuals? To find out, 60 million consumers carried out a blind test on 15 products found in our supermarkets.
A taste of “spreadable cheese” like Kiri pointed out by the jury of testers on a vegan brand, Lidl pulls out of the game, not Salakis!
The verdict is final for some of them. Thus, the “Greek white” cheese from Violife, a vegan brand, plays the Greece card to the fullest with a packaging with olive branches and black olives. But in taste, the account is not there according to the jury which notes a flavor close to a “spreadable cheese” like Kiri or Philadelphia. No wonder since coconut oil is in the composition along with flavorings, starch and acidity corrector.
On the other hand, Lidl cheese under the Milbona brand from Lidl is holding up quite well. However, it only includes cow’s milk and no goat’s or sheep’s milk, but was able to “trap” the testers who found it to have a “pronounced taste of goat’s cheese”! Well known in France, Salakis also stood out in its “goat cheese with a touch of sheep’s milk” version, but not in a good way! The testers noted its “spicy taste”, a far cry from feta.
Note that among these “fake feta”, it is better to favor those that contain mainly sheep’s milk. If they do not reach the 70% sheep’s milk for only 30% goat’s milk which are essential to be called “feta”, they are the ones that come closest to real Greek cheese… With a much lower price. . And if you want to taste real feta without traveling to Greece to check the taste, know that you don’t necessarily have to pay full price. The benchmark brand feta from E. Leclerc, sold at €11.93/kg, was well received by the jury of testers… It is barely one euro more expensive per kilo than some “fake fetas”. It’s up to you to check the labels!