Trader Joe’s AUTHENTIC GREEK FETA in brine


AN OUTSTANDING FETA CHEESE

RAVE

“You know how many kinds of feta exist? Thousands. Every place you go in Greece, they make feta” (Greek cheese monger in Astoria Queens)

TRADER JOE’S AUTHENTIC GREEK FETA in brine. Imported from Greece.

Though feta cheese can be made from many kinds of milk, it’s said sheep’s milk produces the best feta, which is what this is. 100% Sheep’s Milk. This has a wonderful aroma and tangy flavor of a sheep milk feta along with a firm texture but its not dry. The cheese comes in two large slabs in brine which is the way feta should ideally be sold as well as kept in your fridge in it, as the brine preserves the texture and flavor. I find this not overly salty but just right; You will eat it with other things in which you can use less salt.

There are a many types of feta cheese made in quite a few countries. It’s made from cow, goat and sheep milk. Feta made from sheep’s milk is produced in France, Bulgaria, Israel and of course, Greece. Greek Feta may be the best of them all though I honestly like feta from all of the countries I just mentioned for different reason. (French feta is creamy for example) TJ has an Israeli feta too, excellent though more expensive than this one. It has a creamier texture. Start with the Greek one, so you have a baseline.

One thing about this TJ Feta which is NOT good: the packaging meaning how hard this is to open. It’s a pain to open this! Examine it carefully. The very top part is a lid that comes off, once you have broken the seal by ripping a small plastic tab in one corner of the tub. Break this tab, then you can pry the top off carefully (on a counter, slowly so the brine doesn’t fly out everywhere). Use a butter knife if you have to, to get the lid off. Once you open it a few times, it gets easier so don’t give up, though you will curse whoever desiged this package. Anyway the feta inside is good and worth it! And by the way don’t throw out the brine when the cheese is finished (more on this later). Here’s just a few ideas on what you can do with feta cheese. I mean yes it’s delicious just by itself but it’s so versatile to have in the fridge to use with other things, like….

Greek Salad: Put a slab of feta on top of salad greens, chopped up cukes and tomatoes and voila, you have a Greek salad. Throw on some olives if you have them. Drizzle a good slug of very good Extra Virgin Olive Oil on and squeeze on fresh lemon juice. Grind on fresh black pepper. You can even vamp it up with more proteins like hard boiled eggs, drained canned tuna or sardines, or grilled chicken. Serve some good crusty bread and you have a lovely, super easy dinner in minutes.

Watermelon and Feta salad: Cubes of sweet watermelon with cubes of salty feta is a Genius combo. I’ve decided I don’t need olive oil on this, just the two ingredients and a grind of black pepper. But if you like with EVOO go for it. Fresh ground pepper is good with this.

Shakshuka and Feta: Use TJ’s frozen Shakshuka starter: add cubes of this feta as you cook it. Fantastic!

Feta cheese is often used in cooking: one of my favorite Greek dishes is “Garides mi Feta” (Shrimp with tomatoes and Feta) It’s fantastic!

The latest craze is that “Baked Feta Pasta” recipe that is making feta cheese hard to find so many people started looking for it, producers could not keep up!

As this feta is imported from Greece of course it costs more than the small pack of feta cheese TJ carries at $3 for 8 oz. which is pretty good if made from cows milk but it’s not great like this imported Greek one. This Greek feta is $6.49 for 10 oz (drained). So figure about $10/lb for a real “Product of Greece” feta, which is a decent price for real Greek feta. Honestly this stuff will make your meal or dish, so worth the occasional splurge.

Oh and remember I said keep that brine? You can actually use it. That milky feta brine actually has flavor. Melissa Clark in the New York Times put out a great recipe for chicken using brine, plus you can marinate chicken breasts in feta brine for 30-60 minutes;  Bake, broil, pan grill…! They will be SO juicy from the brining.

https://food52.com/recipes/69859-melissa-clark-s-feta-brined-roast-chicken

https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/primers/article/feta-guide

https://food52.com/blog/23031-how-to-use-feta-brine-water-salt-tricks-tips

34 Comments (+add yours?)

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  3. Theodor Avitahl
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 17:19:52

    Have you discontinued the Trader Joe’s AUTHENTIC GREEK FETA in brine? WHY?! I liked and, for the last 1-2 months could not find anymore. In the store they tell me they have no idea if , or when, it is coming back.
    Thanks for your attention.

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    Reply

    • promacnyc
      May 03, 2021 @ 15:09:37

      I don’t think it’s Discontinued, just Out Of Stock. Yesterday I saw no Greek or Isreali Feta in brine. Since that Tiktok recipe for Pasta with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes exploded all over the internet, there have been shortages of Feta cheese all over!! They can’t produce it fast enough to meet the demand. Go figure!

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      Reply

  4. GunshipPilot 🌊🌊 (@RealFalcon10)
    Jun 27, 2021 @ 11:09:45

    Ridiculously difficult to open. Broke the tab in one corner – still won’t open. A really sharp knife can be used to cut open the top. Be careful. Then transfer contents to another container.

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    Reply

  5. Ninette S Mordaunt
    Jul 17, 2021 @ 21:25:44

    Got it twice now but opening it takes a PHD in engineering. I’m not getting it any more for that reason.

    Like

    Reply

  6. Kelly Leake
    Nov 17, 2021 @ 21:15:13

    There is plenty in stock at my local TJ’s in
    Ft Myers, Fl. Usually I love feta cheese straight out of the brine but this one took me by surprise when I tasted it when making dinner. It was a little sour? It doesn’t look spoiled at all and tge sell by date isn’t until April 2022. I chanced it and added it to my Greek salad and it was FINE! Wondering if anyone else noticed this.

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  8. Seattle Suzanne
    Jul 15, 2022 @ 03:29:02

    This is my all time favorite feta. The flavor and texture is perfect. I’ve found several others that are similar in quality but their prices are at least double what I pay at TJ’s.

    The container can easily be opened using a bottle opener. I break the tab using a small knife and then pry the lid up with the bottle opener.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • promacnyc
      Jul 15, 2022 @ 12:28:06

      I’m going to try that next time; the last time we opened the feta box it took about 5 minutes of teeth grinding frustration

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