Tsalafouti: The latest addition to the PDO Greek Cheeses

tsalafouti cheese

Greek cheeses are famous for their unique taste and excellent quality. Many of them are PDO products* since the first year of the designation (1992). Some of them obtained the designation in the following years, and others only recently.

Tsalafouti, the latest addition to the long catalogue of exquisite, sought-after Greek cheeses, is a traditional Greek cheese, with fresh taste and soft texture. It is a spreadable, low-fat, white cheese and its texture resembles yogurt cream and butter.

Tsalafouti’s taste is pleasantly salty, slightly acidic and spicy, and it has some similarities with galotiri and katiki. It is used as a spread on bread or toast, in salads and combined with meats, while it can also be used in desserts. In recent years, tsalafouti is being sold in commercial packaging.

It is considered a very special, seasonal cheese which is produced in small quantities and only for a few weeks per year. It is made mainly in Tzoumerka and Evrytania (Western Greece), from sheep’s milk.

The production period spans from the first week of July to the middle of August (the last milk of the dairy season, which has a thicker consistency) and the special feature during its production is that it is being salted while boiling.

The decision

“Tsalafouti” cheese was registered in the list of products included in the Register of Protected Designations of Origin, as stated in a decision published in Diavgeia**.
Specifically, as it is emphasized in the relevant decision of the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food, “It accepts the final request (protocol number: 1298/158166/8-6-2022) of the informal producer group TSALAFOUTI, for registration in the Register of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) and Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) of the EU, of the name “TSALAFOUTI”, for a cheese product, as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), within the framework of Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of November 21, 2012, on the quality systems of agricultural products and foodstuffs”.

*PDO: Protected Designation of Origin. Geographical indication of the EU and the UK aimed at preserving the designations of origin of food-related products. It was created in 1992 and its main purpose is to designate products that have been produced, processed and developed in a specific geographical area, using the recognized know-how of local producers and ingredients from the region concerned.

**The Transparency Program initiative: beginning October 1st, 2010, all government institutions are obliged to upload their acts and decisions on the Internet with special attention to issues of national security and sensitive personal data. Each document is digitally signed and assigned a unique Internet Uploading Number (IUN) certifying that the decision has been uploaded at the “Transparency Portal”. Following the latest legislative initiative (Law 4210/2013) of the Ministry of Administrative Reform and e-Governance, administrative acts and decisions are not valid unless published online.