|Country of origin||Greece|
|Source of milk||cow's milk or sheep's milk or a mixture of both|
|Aging time||45-60 days|
Kopanisti Mykonou (Greek: Κοπανιστή Μυκόνου) is a salty, spicy cheese, with protected designation of origin (PDO) that is mainly found in the Cycladic island of Mykonos, in Greece, Aegean Sea, for more than 300 years. It owes its special hot taste to fungal growth and it is sometimes also called the "Greek Roquefort".
In Turkey it is known as kopanisti peyniri or acı peynir (kopanisti cheese and bitter cheese, respectively, in Turkish), and is traditionally made in Çeşme and Karaburun districts of İzmir Province. In Turkey, it is normally made from goat's milk.
"Kopanisti" in the Greek language is used to describe something that has been beaten. In Kopanisti cheese this refers to its technique of preparation. It is mainly made from cow's milk or sheep's milk or a mixture of both.
Preparation of Kopanisti Mykonou include artisanal cultures, derived from practice of using some of the previous batches of produced cheese as inocolum for new baches. At first the milk is cooked at 28–30 °C (82–86 °F) with yeast until it gets thick. This procedure usually takes about 20–24 hours. After this it needs to be dried and red chili peppers and salt are added. The manufacturer works the mixture by hands once every hour for the first 24 hours. Then the mixture is wrapped in cotton cloth and placed in a cooking pot with a stone placed on top of the cheese. This method helps the cheese to get rid of extra liquids. It remains in the cloth for a week in order to mature and let the fungus grow. It is then again mixed and put in containers (traditionally earthenware) to complete its aging, which can take between one and two months.
The most popular way of serving is in a dish called "mostra" which contains dry bread with kopanisti cheese, chopped tomatoes and olive oil. Mykoniotes also use it as a meze to accompany the Greek drink ouzo.
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Kopanisti requires 45 to 60 days to ripen to its tasty, spicy, rich flavored, pasty, buttery and creamy consistency.External link in
- European Commission (26.6.2012). Publication of an amendment application pursuant to Article 6(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs.(2012/C 186/09). Accessed on 04/01/2013.
- WIPO (n.d.) Ministerial Decision No. 313046, Recognition of Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) for the Cheese "KOPANISTI". Accessed on 07/01/2013.
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- Fox, P. F. (6 December 2012). Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology: Volume 2 Major Cheese Groups. Springer. p. 526. ISBN 978-1-4615-2648-3.
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