List of Syrian Cheeses

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This is a list of Syrian Cheeses. There are numerous different varieties of Syrian cheese found all throughout the Levant such as the Kenafa, Surke, Baladi, and Tresse cheeses.

Types of cheese[edit]

Some of the most common types of cheese from Syria are:


Ackawi is a white cheese with complex flavor. Primarily used as a table cheese. Also spelled Akawi and Akawieh, from the town of Akko (Acre, Palestine).


Baladi is a soft-white, smooth, creamy cheese has a mild flavour, usually spread on fresh bread or crackers. It is most often eaten for breakfast or snacks.


Charkassiyea is a soft, fresh cheese.

Jibneh Arabieh[edit]

Jibneh Arabieh (Arabic for: Arab cheese) is a simple cheese found all over the Middle East. It is particularly popular in Egypt and Arab countries of the Arabic Gulf. The cheese has an open texture and a mild taste. The heritage of the product started with Bedouins, using goat or sheep milk, however current practice is to use cow's milk to make the cheese. Jibneh Arabieh is used for cooking, or simply as a table cheese.

Jibne Baida[edit]

Jibne Baida (Arabic for white cheese) is a white hard cheese with a pronounced salty taste, often boiled before eating.


Kenafa is an unsalted, very fresh, soft cheese that melts easily and freely. It is used to make the popular "cheesecake", like dessert that is sometimes called Kenafa by people in the Middle East, mainly the Levant. It can also be used as a base for other sweet cheese desserts. It is sold frozen because there is no salt in it and is available in both retail and bulk packages.


Majdoule is a salty white cheese made up of thick strands of cheese braided together (hence the name)


Shelal is a salty white cheese made up of strands of cheese woven together


Surke, also called sorke or shanklish, is a mature cheese made with spices and generally presented as balls of cheese covered in za'tar orchile powder; most often eaten as a starter dish with tomato, oil and sometimes onion

Tresse cheese[edit]

Tresse cheese, also known by its Arabic name Jibneh Mshallaleh is a form of string cheese originating in Syria.[1]


Turkomani is a soft porous cheese with a delicate flavor.

Other milk products[edit]


Kastha (or Kishta) is a heavy cream that is very popular in the Middle East. Traditionally, it is made by skimming the thickest part of the cream from whey. The product is used both as an ingredient in cooking and is mixed with honey to be eaten as an incredibly rich dessert. . It has a sixty-day refrigerated shelf life.