Today we will present to you something really interesting and exceptional, through our new column with articles from successful persons from dining, gastronomy and management industry, like we have mentioned before. Miltos Goulas and Michalis Babis, loyal servants of dining and gastronomy, with non-ending tanks of love for decades, include logistic and retail industry, are providing to us a great article for Greek cheese with amazing information that you all need to read it. Enjoy it then!
* Is cheese so important for our nutrition?
Let’s try to define cheese’s value.
Cheese (“tyri” in Greek) or “tyros” as called in Ancient Greece, comes from the verb “torevo” which means modify/molding, because most of cheeses required molds. The word seems to be Indian-European. It is a fact that humans created cheese since very ancient years, since this was the only way to maintain milk during ages without refrigerators.
Homer referred to cheese at “Iliada” and “Odysseia”. He also refers “Aigion Tyron” which means goat cheese, since “aiga” means goat in old Greek. Lets see, beside word definition, what is actually cheese. Cheese is the product that comes from the gathering of solid milk’s ingredients with a way that can be maintained throughout days without missing any of its origin nutrition elements.
Milk is the primary food for toddlers, of mammals, a balanced food, tasty, nutritious. Contains protein, fat, water, vitamins (fat-soluble A, B, E, D), trace elements, sugars and salt. There is only one disadvantage, short life. That’s why human invented many ways and provided with “body” and structure. Made it compact, fermented and became cheese, yoghurt, butter, buttermilk. This is the best way to be maintained throughout time, becomes tastier, more digestive and more easy to be transferred.
*History of cheese in Greece
History of cheese begins at 8000 BC, when at Iran altitudes, for the first time on earth, the first goats domesticated. A thousand years later, in North Europe, first cow domesticated and all these animals where the first herds that nomads used them for both meats and milk. Many thousands of years later, approximately at 4000 BC, goats are showed up in Mediterranean.
The history of cheese growing among the one of Europe’s. Zeus was the first that tasted goat milk in Greek mythology from Amaltheia goat, while he was being chased by his father. The myth said that Zeus wanted to provide immortality to his son Hercules. For that purpose he requested from his wife Ira to breast-feed him. This jealous wife denied, since Hercules was not her own child. Then, under Zeus command, milk was dropping down from sky, in order Hercules to be able to feed. Since then, “Galaxies” remained at the sky. Homer at “Odysseia” describes in many details the shepherd and Polyfimo, the cheese maker who loved animals and preferred to eat Odyssea’s companions than his sheeps. This is the time when Homer describes the small cheeses that were being matured inside the caves.
Aristotelis and Doskouridis provided the first recipes for cheese making. During Historical times, there are many testimonies on the way to produce cheese. At Athens Market (agora in Greek), an area dedicated to cheeses was existing.
Romans were great cheese makers and cheese friends. It is known that they created a cheese over 1 tone kilos, Luna. They were establishing guards all over across Europe, as soon as they conquer these areas. Those guards, in order to survive they were finding their food locally. So, they learnt to the locals how to produce cheese.
During Byzantium Empire at Greek territory, cheese making was very popular and extended. Some small testimonies refer the cheese “vlahiko”, cheese “mizithra” which is the reason on how Myzithras-Mistras borrowed his name. Many testimonies from Europeans, refer that Crete was a great cheese maker area, specially Chania, where being called as “tyropolis” (cheese city).
During Ottoman rule at Greek mountains and Greek islands, the tradition was non-ending. The population that was based on animals’ nutrition, were constantly moving around high altitudes and exchange ideas of cheese making process and secrets of maturing.
At the end of 19th century, the new-born Greek Nation and capable minister Emmanouil Benakis, realized the financial meaning of animal farming and called from abroad the famous cheese maker Raymond Dimitriadis, who organized the Greek cheese making industry. At the following years, agriculture was organized too, where new students were learning the art of making cheese
*Cheese consumption nowadays
Motherland of cheese is Europe. A very weird stat though is the one that says that 2/5 of earth population are not drinking milk and don’t eat cheese. For example Japan, India and Argentina are under-consumers regarding milk. China does not consume milk too, since ruminants never existed for people needs.
First population in cheese consumption in the world is Greece, with 31 kilos per person per year. We Greeks, we cook cheeses more than any other population in the world. Second consumers are French, that they consume 28 kilos and third are Italians with 19 kilos per year. Japanese on the other hand, they consume 800gr per year in fresh and mild flavored cheeses, mostly imported from USA.
Today we have all power in order to conquer global gastronomy with Greek cheeses. They are already operating companies oriented to grow through tourism and exports. Extroversion and successful strategies that aim in evolution and in passion for Greek products and gastronomy are the main factors of those companies.
Famous Greek Chefs are defines as our country’s ambassadors and Greek cheeses, which are the stars at their kitchens, gaining the appropriate place. The are placing at the best showcases and displays of shops and the most important, placed in our dishes.
It’s true! We Greeks, do it better!
HO.RE.CA & In charge of extended channel of Athens
He is working from 1996 and he is already counting 8 years in Orizontes company from 2014, where his own company merged with Orizontes SA and he brought all know-how that he gained all these years in quality food. He studied at Accounting department of Greek University, but soon enough sales area magnetized him. He evolved his father’s job in food industry in retail and wholesale.
In charge of professional training and market research
He is working from 1988 and he is also 8 years in Orzontes SA. His previous experience was as a Food & beverage Manager at Porto Sani Village, where he worked from 2008 till 2013. He studied at Tourism Academy specialized in Hotel department. He is specialist in wine and in pairings and he is in charge of trainings and structure.