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  • Cheese

    Aegean Türkiye: Some local cheese types that must be tried are İzmir tulum cheese, Ayvalık sepet cheese, Seferihisar armola cheese, kopanisti, Tire çamur cheese, çökelek and Karaburun lorlu keçi tulum cheese. 

    Mediterranean Türkiye: Some local cheese from the Mediterranean Türkiye are Kozan öfeleme cheese, Mersin’s bezde tulum cheese, çökelek and çörekotlu çömlek cheese (with nigella seeds).

    Marmara Türkiye: Ezine white cheese, Edirne white cheese, Kırklareli kaşarı, Malkara kaşarı, Bursa and Balıkesir Mihalıç cheese, and Çerkes, Abaza and kaymaklı lor cheese are the most valued local cheese of the Marmara region. Ezine and Edirne white cheese are products registered with a “geographical indication”.

    Black Sea Türkiye: Local cheese from the Black Sea Türkiye are, among others, Giresun çökelek cheese, Keş cheese, Rize kurçi cheese, Çamlıhemşin minzi cheese, Trabzon ovma yayla cheese, Abaza cheese, Trabzon telli cheese, Trabzon külek cheese, Ordu torba cheese, Sürmene çökelekli mezele cheese, and Çorum Kargı tulumu.

    Central Türkiye: Local cheese from Central Türkiye includes deri tulumu from Ermenek, Karaman and Divle, Konya gök cheese, Develi sündürme cheese, and Avanos küp cheese.

    Southeastern Türkiye: Local cheese from Southeastern Anatolia are Diyarbakır örgü cheese, Gaziantep sıkma cheese, and Urfa and Mardin cheese.

    Eastern Türkiye: Some of the most popular local cheese from Eastern Anatolia are Erzincan şavak tulumu, Erzurum civil, Van otlu cheese (cheese with herbs), çeçil, Kars gravyer (gruyère) cheese, and Göle and Kars kaşar cheese. At least 25 different kinds of herbs are used in the cheese production in Van. Erzincan tulumu (şavak), Kars kaşarı, and Erzurum civil and küflü civil cheeses have a “geographical indication”.

    Beyaz Peynir (White Cheese): The most common cheese variety in Türkiye is beyaz peynir (white cheese). It is a staple at breakfast, as a filling in layered pastries and other baked goods, in salads, and as an appetizer or on a cheese platter. The best ones come from Thrace and the areas surrounding the Sea of Marmara, but it is produced all over the country. It can be made with cow, sheep, or goat's milk.

    Taze Kaşar (Fresh Kaşar Cheese): Another popular cheese common in Türkiye is called "taze kaşar,” which means kaşar cheese that hasn't been aged. Taze kaşar is a smooth, firm, light yellow cheese usually made from cow's milk. It's a very versatile cheese good for slicing, melting, grating, or eating straight up. It most often accompanies white cheese at breakfast. It's also used on pizzas, in sandwiches, and salads, and as the main ingredient in Türkiye's classic comfort food, tost - in English, it's called a grilled-cheese sandwich.

    Eski Kaşar (Aged Kaşar Cheese): The city of Kars, in the northeastern region of Türkiye, is most famous for producing Türkiye's ​best-aged kashar cheese, eski kaşar or known as Kars kaşarı. This beloved cheese is usually made exclusively with cow's milk or a mixture of cow and goat's milk. As the cheese ages, it forms a crust and mold on the exterior. The inside becomes dry and flaky. Its flavor is strong, sharp and tangy. Eski kaşar is ideal for grating and is most often eaten at breakfast, as part of a cheese platter, or grated as a topping or filling in many dishes.

    Tulum Peyniri: Tulum is a general term used for a pungent, soft, sometimes crumbly form of cheese aged in a goat or sheepskin sack that varies greatly between regions. The branded versions of tulum that are sold in the supermarkets are uniform in type and sold across Türkiye. Tulum is best served as an appetizer before meat fare. The traditional way is to serve crumbled tulum with walnut halves, sweet butter, and piping hot lavash flatbread before a plate of spicy kebabs.

    İsli Peynir (Smoked Cheese): İsli peynir is produced in the areas surrounding Düzce and Hendek in the Marmara Türkiye. This cheese gets its robust flavor in special smokehouses that burn pine wood. This cheese has a wonderful aroma and rich, smoky flavor. It comes in wheels covered by a light brown, textured hull and is normally eaten on its own or melted into sauces.

    Dil Peyniri (Stringy Fresh Milk Cheese): This fresh, white, stringy cheese, called "dil peyniri," must be eaten within a day or two. It's most often sold in rectangular logs and pulled apart in stringy strips or cut in chunks. Like mozzarella cheese, fresh dil is wet and has the best fresh, milky flavor in the first few days after production. Dil becomes very stringy when melted. That's why in Türkiye, it's not the preferred cheese for use on pizza, taking a second seat to fresh kaşar cheese. Fresh dil is usually eaten for breakfast. It's quite popular with children because of its mild flavor.  

    Örgü Peyniri (Plaited Cheese):  Örgü peyniri, is as a regional cheese from the areas near Diyarbakır in the southeastern region of Türkiye. It is a hard, uniform, salty cheese made with cow's milk. It's a contender at the Turkish breakfast table and is used as an ingredient in certain Turkish appetizers.

    Labne (Spreadable Fresh Milk Cheese): Labne is a bright white, fresh, spreadable cheese sold in tubs. It most resembles cream cheese but is much lighter in texture. Labne is yet another rich addition to the Turkish breakfast table and is especially loved by children. Like cream cheese, it is also used in many desserts, savory pastries, pies, and appetizers.

    Lor (Low-Salt, Low-Fat Cheese Curd): Lor is a low-salt, low-fat form of white cheese with high protein content. It is a favorite with those who are health-conscious. Lor is inexpensive and is used to make lighter versions of traditional Turkish layered pastry, cheese pies, and desserts.