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Fresh Feta?

b
BlueTrain84 Sep 28, 2010 07:19 AM

Does anybody know where I can get some really flavorful, freshly made feta cheese around Boston? I have (sadly) never bought anything besides the TJs, Whole Foods or Athens brands, and I've heard that freshly made feta is significantly more delicious.

  1. n
    nlg Sep 29, 2010 09:34 AM

    French feta at Arax. So smooth, creamy...yum. It's all about personal preference. Try before you buy. The last time I went there I ended up with a pound of it - was worried it would take some time to get through it - but it did not. All eaten by my family!

    And, I am very eager to go back to Watertown - a little feta, olives, some pastries, the diner, and the Turkish candies at Sevan. I'm still thinking of those!

    1. c
      catsmeow Sep 29, 2010 06:04 AM

      There's a Greek specialty market that opened a few months ago in West Roxbury just before the Dedham line on Washington St(at the corner of Grove St).. They have at least 6+ kinds of fresh feta bathing in large display pans that is cut to order. Very nice people and willing to let you sample before you decide. I went just as they were opening and they had a large refrigerated service area that was also going to have prepared foods. They also have a large selection of grocery, frozen items and fresh bread.

      1. p
        ParisLady Sep 28, 2010 05:36 PM

        I am also of Greek heritage and travel to Greece very often. Believe it or not, if you live near a "Greek Community". Market Basket has great IMPORTED feta. It is delicious and is often on sale. Lowell is my favourite! On occasion Wholefoods.

        1. trufflehound Sep 28, 2010 12:59 PM

          I am partial to Bulgarian feta also as I find the tang and creaminess to my liking. I look for fresh cheese packed in brine. The Watertown markets are all good choices, depending on where you live. Most eastern euro and middle eastern markets have them. Roslindale Fish Mkt has a good selection as well as Cedars in Norwood. If you are north, they should have some in Metuen at the ME bakeries and Worcester also.

          1. BobB Sep 28, 2010 12:15 PM

            I'm not sure whether they qualify as fresh made, but Berezka, the Russian store on Comm Ave near Harvard Ave, has a variety of fetas from different countries, made with milk from a variety of different animals.

            1. gabreality Sep 28, 2010 11:31 AM

              I'll third and fourth the recommendation for Sevan. The Bulgarian feta is very good, but try the trakya, it's amazing.
              Another place you can go if you live on the Boston side of the river is Turkuaz on Brighton Ave (Packard's corner-ish). Here's their website: http://www.eturkuaz.com/

              - Gaby
              http://behindboston.blogspot.com

              9 Replies
              1. re: gabreality
                Allstonian Sep 28, 2010 11:51 AM

                A couple of caveats about Turkuaz, since Barmy just bought a block of feta there for me last week: they don't have as big a selection as some of the other shops, and THEY WON'T CUT BLOCKS TO ORDER. So if you don't actually plan to use a whole 24-ounce block, you're kind of stuck.

                1. re: gabreality
                  opinionatedchef Sep 28, 2010 09:59 PM

                  gaby, 2 questions:
                  what makes the trakya amazing?
                  the turkuaz store (thank you for the mention; i didn't know of it) website shows a jar of hazelnut spread. do you know if this is sweet or savory and how it is used/eaten? thnx again.

                  http://www.eturkuaz.com/urun_detay.as...

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    gabreality Sep 29, 2010 05:22 AM

                    Trakya is amazing because its just a bit tangy, not too salty, and incredibly creamy. It's (imho) what the Bulgarian feta would taste like if it was made with higher quality ingredients. Of course it's also more expensive, not sure how much you want to pay for feta. If you go to Sevan, they'll let you taste a bunch and you can pick your favorite.

                    There is a very broad spectrum of hazelnut spreads (fındık ezmesi), think of it like different kinds of peanut butter, except all of them are at least a little bit sweet.
                    There are super sweet creamy ones (dessert only), and then there is the spread you linked to which is more like a chunky low sugar added kind, still sweet but not cloying and much more hazelnutty, you can cook with it, bake with it and eat it on toast. I have a jar in my fridge :)
                    - Gaby
                    http://behindboston.blogspot.com

                    1. re: gabreality
                      StriperGuy Sep 29, 2010 06:38 AM

                      If you want to have any cred around here you should really remove the Phantom Gourmet link from your blog.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        gabreality Sep 29, 2010 11:20 AM

                        Thanks for the advice, I'll leave my blog as is.

                        1. re: gabreality
                          StriperGuy Sep 29, 2010 11:25 AM

                          Go for it. Here is the relevant thread on chowhound:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654532

                      2. re: gabreality
                        opinionatedchef Sep 29, 2010 11:32 AM

                        thnx much gaby; it's on my to-do list, w/ the feta! oh, any other favs of yours there?(fyi i love eggplant and hate rosewater)!

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          gabreality Sep 29, 2010 12:54 PM

                          Honestly, I don't shop at Turkuaz much, I generally prefer Sevan since they're closer to me, I think their prices are better and I like their prepared foods.
                          In general, I highly recommend black olive paste (marmarabirlik), green fig jam (incir reçel), and one of my favorite ingredients in sauces, pepper paste (biber salçası) which comes in mild made with bell peppers, or spicy, which includes some bell and some chili pepper.

                          1. re: gabreality
                            opinionatedchef Sep 29, 2010 02:23 PM

                            thnx again.

                  2. opinionatedchef Sep 28, 2010 11:19 AM

                    what allstonian said.at eastern lamejun bakers (near mt auburn cemetery; easy parking across the street))i like their bulgarian and
                    french for their less saltiness/ more creaminess. They will let you taste. While you're there, make sure to buy a sample pkg of spinach and cheese turnovers and rice and pine nut stuffed baby eggplants.I've been addicted to both for years!

                    1. L2k Sep 28, 2010 08:50 AM

                      Sophia's in Belmont has a great selection, and very reasonably priced. Also they have wicked cheap olives, and a bunch of other Greek/Mediterranean groceries.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: L2k
                        GretchenS Sep 28, 2010 09:10 AM

                        Second this and if you get Sophia herself (her husband is very nice but not very comfortable speaking English), you can tell her what qualities you prefer in a feta (smooth vs sharp, for example) and she will recommend which feta to try. Or you can get very small amounts of several and do a tasting. Her homemade taramasalata is also fantastic.

                        1. re: GretchenS
                          L2k Sep 28, 2010 01:53 PM

                          We had toured Greece a few years ago and the guy at our local HOP (House O' Pizza) told us to go to Sophia's for "real" Feta. We were overwhelmed by the selection, they asked us "where did you like the feta best?", and we told them two places, so they cut us slices of each and we chose Hotos. And that's what we go back for time after time after time.

                      2. t
                        trueblu Sep 28, 2010 08:48 AM

                        We eat a lot of feta in our household, and we've tried multiple different brand offerings (none made in Boston to my knowledge) -- from Arax/Russo etc etc. Rather bizarrely, the very best one we've found is the Bulgarian (no brand??) feta from the Chestnut Hill star market. Do note that this is the only cheese I recommend from here: all the other cheeses are pretty mediocre. We bought it once because we couldn't be bothered to trek to watertown just for some cheese and now it's our first choice. Not sure why this particular one is so good. It is really head and shoulders better than the others. The french feta from arax is another good variety, though significantly more expensive.

                        tb

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: trueblu
                          galleygirl Sep 28, 2010 07:12 PM

                          I'm partial to the Bulgarian (not a prepack,by the pound) at Bazaar in Brookline.

                        2. StriperGuy Sep 28, 2010 08:16 AM

                          Arax or Sevan in Watertown.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: StriperGuy
                            Allstonian Sep 28, 2010 08:29 AM

                            Or Eastern Lamejun in Belmont. All of these places not only offer very fresh feta but carry several different types - Bulgarian, Greek, etc. - which makes for interesting taste comparisons.

                            Bazaar in Allston carries several varieties of prepacked but fresh feta; I'd bet that any of the other Russian markets (Berezka, also in Allston, the other Bazaar, near Coolidge Corner, etc.) offer fresh feta as well.

                          2. d
                            djr222 Sep 28, 2010 08:13 AM

                            They have a few different Feta at Roussos, in Watertown that are really fresh and Good

                            1. f
                              food4dogs Sep 28, 2010 07:52 AM

                              Can't say I've ever had 'fresh' fresh but I'm Greek so pretty particular about store-bought stuff. I like the Dodonis best - you can get it at Kiki's in Brighton (little convenience shop owned by Greeks), Sophia's in Belmont or at most Market Baskets.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: food4dogs
                                s
                                smtucker Sep 28, 2010 11:20 AM

                                Also a regular purchase at Costco, Everett.

                              2. g
                                gourmaniac Sep 28, 2010 07:43 AM

                                I usually get Bulgarian Feta at Sevan or one of the other of the Armenian bakeries alone Mt Auburn in Watertown. I find it creamy and delicious.

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