Formaela of Parnassos
Formaela of Parnassos is a traditional Greek semi hard cheese which is pale, slightly salty with a pungent taste. Formaela cheese is registered in the European Union as a protected designation of origin since 1996. It is made from ewe’s or goat’s milk or mixtures, in the region of Arahova at the foot of the Parnassos mountain and is popular for its special flavor and high nutritional value.
Formaela is prepared using traditional cheese making techniques. At first, the milk is allowed to get coagulated at 32°C for about two hours. Then, the cheese curd is heated to 40°C for about 10 minutes. The resulting solid is cut into pieces and is fitted in special molds made in the shape of wickers.
Did you know that the Italian “Formaggio” and French name “Fromage” stems from the Greek word “formos” (φορμός), a reference to the molds (baskets) used to drain curd during cheese-making!
The cheese, along with the mold, is then placed in the whey that was separated from the cheese during the process while the temperature is maintained at 60°C for 60 minutes. Then it is immersed in a warmer whey (75-80oC) for another hour. Finally, Formaela is taken out of the molds and salted. The cheese is kept in shelves for four days to complete the drying.
Formaela is consumed as a table cheese after ripening for at least for 3 months. Fresh is consumed as “saganaki” (shallow-fried cheese).
The mean composition of Formaela: maximum moisture 50%, minimum fat 40%.