Chechil (Armenian: Չեչիլ) is a brine string cheese that originated in Armenia. It has a consistency approximating that of mozzarella or sulguni and is produced in the form of dense strings, rolled up in a figure eight of thick braid-shaped ropes.
Chechil is one of the cheeses produced in the Armenian Highlands and is also called husats or tel. It is a kneaded or pulled cheese, and the art of the cheese-maker is in stretching it thin so that it yields a "chicken-breast texture". The cheese is often sold braided in thick ropes. Curd is given a hot whey bath, than kneaded and stretched to the desirable, pliable consistency. In the Western world, chechil panir is often called Armenian or Syrian cheese. Armenian refugees who settled in Syria after the Armenian Genocide of 1915 introduced it in the country. In Russia, it is very popular as a pairing to beer in bars. It is also widely popular in European Russia.
Chechil is matured in brine and often smoked before consumption. It is sometimes mixed with farmer cheese or various hard cheeses, and is stored in jars or wine skins. In the US, Chechil Cheese had a Kickstarter project to raise enough money for production and now can be purchased at https://ChechilUSA.com
Because of its low fat content chechil is often used as diet food.
- Petrosian., I. and Underwood., D. (2006). Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction and Folklore. Yerkir Publishing, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
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