Greek PDO Cheeses

Greece, with its rich culinary history, is home to a wide variety of cheeses that are deeply rooted in its culture and traditions. With more than 20 Greek cheeses awarded the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, these exceptional products showcase their unique characteristics, traditional production methods, and strong ties to their regions of origin. This page explores the diverse world of Greek PDO cheeses, delving into their characteristics and role in Greek culinary traditions.

Greek PDO Cheeses

Notable Varieties and Regions

Greece boasts over 20 PDO cheeses, each with distinct characteristics tied to their specific regions of origin. Some of the most famous Greek PDO cheeses include:


Undoubtedly the most well-known Greek cheese, Feta has a PDO status since 2002. This white, brined cheese is made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. With its crumbly texture and tangy, salty flavor, Feta is a versatile cheese used in a variety of dishes, including the famous Greek salad.


Graviera is one of the most popular Greek cheeses, with several regional PDO varieties, such as Graviera Kritis (Crete), Graviera Naxou (Naxos), and Graviera Agrafon (Agrafa). This hard, yellow cheese is made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and is commonly used in cooking or as a table cheese.


This semi-hard, pale yellow cheese is made from sheep’s milk or a blend of sheep’s and goat’s milk. Kasseri has a PDO designation and is primarily produced in Thessaly, Macedonia, and Lesvos. Its mild, slightly tangy flavor makes it a popular choice for sandwiches, pastries, and as a table cheese.


Manouri is a soft, creamy PDO cheese made from sheep’s milk whey, often with the addition of some sheep’s or goat’s milk. Produced mainly in Central and Western Macedonia and Thessaly, Manouri has a delicate, milky taste and is frequently used in desserts or as a spread.


With a PDO status, Kefalotyri is a hard, yellow cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk or a combination of both. This cheese is produced in various regions across Greece and has a strong, salty flavor. It is often grated over pasta dishes or used in traditional Greek dishes like moussaka and pastitsio.

The Role of PDO Cheeses in Greek Cuisine

Greek PDO cheeses play a crucial role in the country’s culinary heritage, featuring prominently in numerous traditional dishes and meze. Their unique flavors and textures add depth and complexity to Greek cuisine, making them an essential component of the Mediterranean culinary experience. From crumbly Feta to nutty Graviera, Greek PDO cheeses are used in various ways: as table cheeses, in cooking, or as ingredients in salads, pastries, and other dishes.

Supporting Greek PDO Cheeses

By choosing Greek PDO cheeses, consumers not only enjoy the authentic flavors and high quality of these products but also support local producers and contribute to the preservation of traditional production methods. The PDO label serves as a guarantee of a product’s origin and adherence to strict production standards, making it easier for consumers to make informed choices.

Greek PDO Cheeses and Culinary Education

Culinary schools and institutions play a vital role in promoting the use of Greek PDO cheeses by educating students, chefs, and food enthusiasts about their significance, characteristics, and applications in the kitchen. By incorporating Greek PDO cheeses into their curriculum and hands-on training, culinary schools help preserve the rich cheese-making traditions and promote the appreciation of these high-quality products.

Exploring the World of Greek PDO Cheeses

As the world becomes more connected and the demand for authentic and diverse culinary experiences grows, Greek PDO cheeses are gaining recognition and appreciation globally. Food enthusiasts, chefs, and culinary students are encouraged to explore the fascinating world of Greek PDO cheeses, experiment with their unique flavors and textures, and integrate them into new and innovative dishes.

Greek PDO cheeses are an integral part of the country’s rich culinary heritage, reflecting Greece’s diverse regions, traditional production methods, and unique flavors. By choosing and promoting Greek PDO cheeses, consumers, chefs, and culinary students contribute to the preservation of these traditions and support local producers. With over 20 PDO cheeses to discover, the world of Greek cheese offers an exciting journey for food lovers and culinary professionals alike.