This simple and quick homemade feta cheese can be rustled up in no time. It is a useful recipe if you need something salty to add to a dish.
Feta cheese is a luxury for us in Zimbabwe, which is why my homemade feta cheese recipe has been a Godsend! When we lived in South Africa I always had a tub in my fridge. But here in Masvingo, it’s another story. We seldom have any for sale in our town and when it is in stock, it is so overpriced that I can’t bring myself to put it in the trolley. Over the winter months, my Mom sends some up from South Africa in a truck for us. She wraps it in foil and we pray that the truck isn’t delayed at the border.
Cheese is one of my most favourite foods. It is quite an expensive commodity in Zimbabwe and most of our population cannot afford it so the shops in our small town seldom stock it and if they do, they are small blocks of yellow plastic-like stuff.
When we lived in Johannesburg I learnt how to make my own cream cheese and soon I will share how I managed to do it! If you’re not from South Africa or Zimbabwe, try to find out if you can source a product called Maas. Maas, or amasi, is a fermented milk product that is popular in Southern Africa. If you would like to learn more about it and see if something similar is offered in shops nearby you, check this article out.
Making My Own Feta Cheese
A few months ago, one my best friends taught me how to make homemade ricotta cheese. Once I had made some I examined the texture and wondered if I could make a version of feta cheese that would give that extra salty punch to a dish. So, I started experimenting.
As you will have read in my tutorial on how to pasteurize milk, we receive fresh farm milk every Wednesday. Judah drinks a large portion of it but with the remainder, I make homemade feta cheese to last us a week.
This recipe will not give you creamy danish feta and there are multiple differences between store-bought feta and what you will make. However, our family and friends find it to be a cheap and tasty alternative. It is inexpensive and can be rustled up quickly. We aren’t a fussy crowd and having lived in Zimbabwe for so many years, we welcome a variety of foods, especially when they’re homemade!
What you need:
½ Cup White Vinegar
Pot to heat the milk
Muslin Cloth or Cheese Cloth
Garlic & Herb Seasoning (or experiment with other options)
Fridge storage container
How to Make Homemade Feta Cheese
Heat the milk on your stove. Do not let the milk boil. When little bubbles form around the edges, your milk is warm enough.
Switch off your stove and pour ½ a cup of vinegar in the pot of milk. With a wooden spoon, stir the vinegar in. Do not stir vigorously. Just give it a little swirl so that the vinegar is pushed around the pot.
Leave the vinegar and milk mixture for about 20–30 minutes. It will cool down and separate.
Line a sieve or colander with muslin cloth and either place it over a large pot or in the sink. Pour the milk and vinegar mixture into the cloth and let it drain for about an hour.
Once drained, place the cheese into a mixing bowl.
Add a teaspoon of garlic and herb seasoning and a teaspoon of table salt. Use a fork to break up the cheese and mix in the seasoning. After it has been mixed well, taste the cheese. I usually add a bit more salt and mix again. I continuously taste the cheese until it tastes as salty as store-bought feta.
Move the cheese into your fridge container. I press the cheese down into the container with a fork so that it forms a solid block. I then use a knife to shave off crumbly bits and sprinkle them over my salads or sandwiches.
How I use my Homemade Feta Cheese
- Sprinkled over mashed avocado on toast
- Tossed in a simple green salad
- Melted over a baked potato
- Cut chunks into a balsamic roasted tomato pasta dish