I just had the best tasting feta I've ever been served at dinner in Astoria last week.
Anyone know where I can buy that quality feta myself? I'd like to serve it at a dinner party I'm having with a Turkish guy and his friends. Manhattan is preferable, but I'm willing to travel for great cheese!
I would go to Titan in Astoria as it is the Greek grocery store (25-56 31st street
LIC, N.Y, 11102). The brand of Feta I would highly recommend is Dodoni. The store associates behind the deli are helpful and often offer samples to try. Also, for dessert I would recommend Artopolis(23-18 31st St Astoria, NY 11105). The desserts are outstanding (galoktobouriko, kourambiedes etc). I do not know any place in Manhattan though, sorry!
Hope the info was helpful!
I think the very best, widely distributed feta around is a french feta called Valbreso.
It is a sheep's milk feta made in Southern France from milk left over from Roquefort production
Wonderful texture and nice balance in saltiness......I often find many commercial fetas dry and overly salty....was turned onto this by a Lebanese gentleman who owns a large Mideast bakery/deli many years ago........when using large amounts of feta I usually go with a Bulgarian....good all around and great price point........other possibilities are greek barrel aged and recently I enjoyed an Egyptian feta that was similar to the Valbreso..........If i was forced to choose one I'd stick with the French Valbreso....even if it isn't the one you were specifically looking for give it a try at most any good mideast deli.
Comes in 500 gram tubs, half pound, and you can buy any amount at most places that carry it in bulk.
Having looked up Dodoni.....suggested by the other responders, I would check it out as well /,,,,some very enthusiastic praise for this feta....I'll have to source it and give it a try.
Any decent mideast deli/ specialty store will carry Valbreso...along with the barrel aged Greek.
As mentioned.......for bulk recipes/everyday salads/spanikopita....I use the Bulgarian.
The Egyptian fresh, I was recently turned onto by some Morroccans who own a mom and pop here in NC.......all their product comes from a vendor in Jersey.......and I don't have a brand name....any Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods), will have a wide variety of feta's........am not familiar with Astoria....The Egyptian was even softer than Valbreso.......it was a nice diversion....nice to try.....but not a mainstay.
I can't stress enough that many domestic, generic grocery store brands like Athenos , Presidents , are way to hard/crumbly/salty...indestinct, caricatures...
Not knowing your taste preferences, all I can recommend are the best I've known......Valbreso, Greek barrel aged.....and from what I've seen Dodoni.... the Egyptian fresh is well worth a try.......I've never tasted a domestically produced feta that I've enjoyed......I'm talking big producers....there are many artisanils out there , particularly goat, that are worthy.....but thats another adventure.
Good luck. try as many as you can.......for me a good/great feta should be well balanced in consistancy.....slightly firm yet smooth (ie does not completely fragment when cut), have a nice tangy/briny flavor...not overwhelming salt....I like a creamier mouth feel as opposed to dryness.....many Americans have never really experienced the nuance that can be a great feta, having just tasted dull, salty,dry. white cheese, on top of a "greek salad" or a pie....
My favorite is Bulgarian... The least expensive place to buy it is the East Village Cheese Shop on Second Ave by 9th Street.
Dodoni is excellent and you can find it at Costco. It comes imported directly from greece packed in brine and a resealable container. Will keep a few months. I always keep one in my fridge.
Go to International Foods on 9th Avenue in Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd, west side of the street. Run by 2 Greek brothers who have been in business for eons and who sell only the best Feta and other Greek cheeses.