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What Does Feta Cheese Taste Like?

If you’ve never eaten feta cheese, you’ll probably do a quick Google search for ‘What does feta cheese taste like?‘. You may not even realize you’ve tried this type of cheese before. 

You can usually find this cheese in Greek cuisine. This soft white cheese beautifully crumbles on a dish but doesn’t completely melt.

Every small bite and you’ll taste a variety of flavors. 

Although it may look like goat cheese or cream cheese, there’s more to feta cheese that will make you come back for more.  

It has a very distinctive taste and hearty flavor.

Feta is also a versatile cheese that will complement many dishes. 

Keep reading to learn what feta cheese is, what it tastes like, its different varieties, and how to use it in cooking. 

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Sliced feta cheese topped with olive oil and black olives.

What is Feta Cheese?

Feta is a creamy white soft cheese with tiny holes and a crumbly texture. 

This rindless curd cheese usually comes as a square cake or block and looks like cottage cheese or cream cheese.

You can also buy pe-crumbled feta cheese in airtight containers with or without seasonings.

Ingredients In Feta

When it comes to feta cheese ingredients, the Greeks use whole sheep’s milk or a combination of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk.

They also use rennet or casein so the milk coagulates or thickens. After that, they remove the curds and drain off the excess whey.  

Feta cheese cures in a brine or saltwater solution and stays soft and fresh even if it cures in brine for months. 

The cheese then gets its distinctive bite and tangy flavor after the curing process in the salty brine.

The taste of brined or pickled cheeses like feta becomes firmer and saltier with age. 

This type of aged cheese is pricier than other cheeses you can buy at the supermarket.

The great thing about it is you don’t have to use a lot of it to enjoy it. A little feta cheese goes a long way! 

What Does Feta Cheese Taste Like?

Feta cheese taste mainly depends on the type of milk used, the length of curing, and how and where it’s cured. 

It infuses hints of wild grasses, herbs, and minerals that goats and sheep eat while foraging. 

The feta cheese also absorbs the flavors of the brine solution and the wooden barrel it’s in as it cures and ages. 

But does feta cheese taste good? Yes! You can describe good feta cheese taste as sharp, salty, creamy, buttery, and tangy. 

Feta cheese tastes like other sheep’s milk cheeses but with more acidity.

Meanwhile, cheeses made with goat milk have a slightly earthy taste you’ll either like or hate. 

What you serve your feta cheese with will also affect its taste. But this cheese is firm and moist and melts in your mouth quickly. 

Feta triangles served with fresh vegetables.

Types of Feta

Are there other feta-style cheeses you should know about? Yes, and here are some of them.


You must try Greek feta cheese if you’re going for the most authentic feta. It has that briny, tangy, and lemony aftertaste with a crumbly and creamy texture, perfect for soups and salads. 

Authentic Greek feta is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, like Roquefort cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano. 

It means only feta cheese from designated regions like Central Greece, Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, Peloponnese, and the Cephalonia and Lesvos islands can be called feta in the European Union. 

PDO feta should have a mixture of 70% sheep milk and 30% goat milk. Moreover, the milk can only come from a specific region of Greece.


Want the mildest feta-style cheese? French feta has a creamier texture and a more buttery and less salty flavor. 

The brining period is shorter than the other feta cheese types, so it has a milder and more mellow flavor. 

It uses the milk of Lacaune sheep in southwestern France, giving it a buttery flavor. 


This cheese has a bold flavor, usually described as yeasty, sheepy, or gamey. It’s also the tangiest and saltiest feta-style cheese because it uses yogurt as a culture. 

Bulgarian feta is also known as white brine sirene, and the unique pasture in the country influences its flavors.  

It mainly uses sheep’s milk, but Bulgarian feta can also come from buffalo or goat’s milk. 

Israeli Feta

Another type of feta-style cheese with a sharp flavor is Israeli feta, which comes from sheep’s milk. 

It has a creamy and mellow aftertaste, thanks to its short brining period of just a month. 

Israel feta is firm and soft and doesn’t easily crumble when sliced. 

Although some people say it’s not authentic feta because of its short fermentation, many still love it because it’s a delicious and versatile cheese. 

Turkish Feta

Beyaz peynir, Turkey’s most popular brined cheese, is also soft and white, with many similarities to feta.

This one is mild and plain and has a grainier texture. 

Beyaz peynir is eaten fresh, typically for breakfast.

Its mild flavor also gets tangier the longer cheesemakers brine it. 

Turkish feta is made from sheep, cow, or goat’s milk and has many regional variants, each prepared slightly differently and flavored depending on the animals’ pasture.

This type of cheese is often brined in woven baskets. 

Also Read: Best Substitute For Feta Cheese (12 Options To Try).

Danish White

It’s called Danish White and not Danish feta because it’s made in Denmark and comes from cow’s milk. As mentioned earlier, you can only call it traditional feta if it comes from a particular location in Greece.  

Still, this soft white cheese is a popular variant among cheese enthusiasts because of its milder, creamier taste and less crumbly texture.

It may not be authentic feta cheese. Danish feta is so mild and smooth that you can use it in different recipes without crumbling, and it goes perfectly with almost any dish. 

American Feta

And then there’s the American version of feta, which usually has a sour taste and mushy texture because of its mechanized production process.  

But artisanal feta cheesemakers in the US produce feta with zesty flavors and citrus aftertaste using cow’s milk.

Cutting board with cubed feta.

How is Feta Made?

Because the European Union PDP protects feta cheese, feta producers only use 70% fresh or raw sheep milk or, at most, 30% sheep and goat milk, with at least 6% fat. 

Feta cheese producers will collect the milk to pasteurize and curdle. They will then add lactic acid or cultured bacteria and calcium chloride before being renneted. 

After which, they will strain the curdled milk at a temperature of 16°C to 18°C for up to an entire day. 

Then, they will remove the cheese mass from the molds for salting inside the wooden barrels. 

It will then undergo the ripening process with brine and refrigeration, resulting in feta cheese with a distinct taste. 

Ways to Use Feta

Because of the exciting taste of feta cheese, it’s a great addition to many dishes.

It complements almost any dish, from salads to pies and pastas. 

Its natural salty flavor adds a nice kick to many dishes. And because it doesn’t fully melt when added to hot dishes, you always get a delicious and beautiful texture. 

You can enjoy it as a dip by combining it with olive oil and some lemon juice. 

As an appetizer, you can gather some olives, sliced meats, crusty bread, and some feta served fresh. 

Or get some marinated kalamata olives and feta cheese for a tasty snack.  

Feta cheese pairs well with stews, soups, sauces, and your favorite pasta dish. Try making some baked feta pasta!

It also works well in baked casseroles and adds a mouthwatering texture. 

Include it in your savory pastries and pies or even in stuffed burgers. 

Feta cheese also goes perfectly with meats, especially lamb. 

Moreover, it makes a yummy salad cheese. So toss it in a traditional Greek salad or sprinkle it on roasted vegetables. 

Sheep’s milk feta cheese also makes a delicious alternative to mozzarella on flatbreads, sandwiches, and flatbreads. 

Does Feta Cheese Taste Like Goat Cheese?

No. Goat cheese tastes fresh and earthy taste because of the grass that goats eat.

Greek feta is more salty and acidic. 

Moreover, feta has a crumbly texture, while goat cheese has a softer texture. 

How Long Does Feta Last?

When buying feta cheese, it’s also essential to know its proper storage.

Fresh cheese, like feta, has a shelf life that can last up to three weeks with proper storage.

It can last approximately two weeks before it smells sour or looks gray and moldy. 

Pre-crumbled feta cheese can last up to two months if unopened and refrigerated.

How to Store Feta?

How can you keep your feta fresh? Here are some ways to store feta and preserve it so that feta cheese lasts longer.

Brine Solution 

As a cheese cured in brine, storing your feta in a brine solution is best as it will preserve the saltiness of the cheese longer. 

You can buy feta in brine, so store it in its existing brine. But taste the feta first before you store it. 

If it’s too salty, dilute the brine or put the feta in water so the saltiness from the cheese will strain into the water. 

For feta without brine, make your own by adding a few pinches of salt to water (one teaspoon of salt per cup of water). 

Add a few tablespoons of milk to the brine if you want a creamier feta cheese. Make sure the brine covers the feta cheese. 

Drain the brine using a cheesecloth or a colander to serve your feta. 

Airtight Container 

Put your feta in an airtight glass container and keep it inside the fridge to preserve its freshness, creaminess, and rich flavor. 

You can buy feta cheese in crumbled form packaged and sealed in plastic bowls with lids. If you keep it unopened inside the fridge, you can keep it fresh for up to two months. 

Once you open it, store it in the fridge and consume it before the best-by date. 

Olive Oil

If you don’t like the salty taste, you can also preserve your feta cheese using olive oil.

You can use olive oil or mix it with another cooking oil. 

Plate with green salad topped with feta.

What food goes well with feta?

Feta cheese pairs wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir and beers and pale ales. 

You also won’t go wrong with proteins like chicken, lamb, salmon, shrimp, and tofu.

It’s an excellent pairing for meats with a natural saltiness and can bring out the salty flavor of fish. 

Moreover, it enhances the flavors of fresh fruits like strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydews, melons, and stone fruits such as nectarines and apricots.

Also Read: What Do Apricots Taste Like?

Crumble some feta on top and enjoy it as a refreshing snack.

As for vegetables, pair Greek feta with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, peppers, green beans, onions, asparagus, and zucchini.

Feta won’t overpower your vegetables’ mild flavors. Instead, it will bring out their fresh and earthy flavors. 

Instead of the usual parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella, use feta cheese for your pasta noodles for a flavorful surprise. Feta’s tangy flavor will enhance the natural taste of the noodles. It can even be an excellent substitute for pasta sauce! 

Feta, herbs, and spices also taste lovely. So add some feta cheese to your potatoes and sprinkle them with your favorite spices for a quick but tasty potato dish. 

Feta even tastes delicious with eggs. The next time you whip up an omelet, add some feta cheese, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and spinach. Taste the delightful transformation. 

You can enjoy nuts, starches, grains, condiments, and spices with feta. It’s that versatile! 


What Does Feta Cheese Taste Like

Simple Greek Salad Recipe with Feta

Natalia-Flavorful Home
This Simple Greek Salad with Feta is extra flavorful. This nutritious and easy-to-make dish offers a delightful combination of fresh veggies, olives, and creamy feta cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American


  • 2 tomatoes large, diced
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • 1 Vidalia onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup feta crumbled
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)


  • Prepare the Vegetables. Wash and chop the tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, and red onion. Place them in a large salad bowl.
  • Add the Olives and Feta. Add the sliced Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese to the bowl with the vegetables.
  • Make the Dressing. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Combine and Toss. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the large bowl. Use salad servers or two large spoons to gently toss all the ingredients together, ensuring they are evenly coated with the dressing.


Serve your homemade Greek salad with feta as a refreshing side dish, appetizer, or even as a light meal on its own.


Calories: 658kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 7gFat: 65gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 43gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 705mgPotassium: 449mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1732IUVitamin C: 53mgCalcium: 238mgIron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Leave us a Comment!


Cheese enthusiasts worldwide can’t stop raving about the taste of feta cheese. And for good reason! 

This extraordinary cheese has been perfected through time so we can all enjoy its rich and unrivaled goodness.

If you like rich, salty, and crumbly cheese, keep your fridge stocked with this delectable cheese! 

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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