Tzfat cheese (Hebrew: גבינה צפתית) is a semi-hard cheese produced in Israel originally from sheep's milk. It was first produced by the HaMeiri dairy in Safed in 1840 and is still produced there by descendants of the original cheese makers.
It has an elastic texture and low fat content and salinity. The milk used in the production of cheese is pasteurized at a low 72 °C (162 °F), which guarantees the integrity of valuable food proteins of the milk. Trimming is based largely on the action of enzymes contained in a special ferment and on calcium chloride rather than on the action of lactic acid. The fermentation is quick, about an hour. After the separation of most of the whey, the cheese is stored for several hours in straw or plastic baskets to drain the remaining whey and to form its round shape. For the remainder of the draining time, the cheese is inverted several times to help the draining and to form the basket's pattern on all sides.