After last week’s taste test post, I’m going back to human food. For now, at least. If anyone has a puppy they want to lend me to help out with a dog food taste test, just let me know. Today though, feta cheese. One of the very first taste test blogs I did was on cheddar cheese, but really, why stop there? Now I think about it, there are dozens – hundreds, even – of cheese related taste tests I could do. Halloumi? Parmesan? Stilton? If you are particularly curious about any specific cheeses, then let me know in the comments and I will make it happen.

I also keep meaning to get round to posting a recipe for a baked vegan feta cheese substitute. I had some at a class I was helping with a couple of months ago and, my god, it was a revelation. I’ve absolutely no need (in dietary terms) to eat vegan cheese rather than normal cheese, but this stuff was stupidly delicious. Again, if you’d be interested, then let me know.

For now though, feta. I try to keep some feta cheese in the fridge most of the time, because it’s wonderful versatile and delicious. Whether you’re crumbling it on top of a salad, stirring it into a pasta dish, or having it in fritters, it will always give you a satisfying kick of salty flavour.

As before, I feel I need a rambling disclaimer: obviously, I am doing this in my kitchen and not in a lab and I am not a scientist. These are the opinions of one person – that said, one person who has been trained to taste for quality. Also, the products used in this series are just examples – obviously each supermarket has, say, eight or nine different types of feta cheese or whatever the product may be, and I’m not going to try every single one because what am I, made of money?

Finally, I should highlight that I tasted all the products blind, and at the time of tasting and making my notes I didn’t know which product came from which shop. I sat in one room while my glamorous assistant (er, my husband), prepared the samples in another. Any notes added regarding packaging and so on were only done after blind tasting, when I learned which supermarket had made A, B, C, D, or E.

The Blind Taste Test: Feta Cheese

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Feta
per 100g
£*
kcal
fat
carb
fibre
protein
salt
Lidl – Eridanous
0.50
278
23
0.7
0
17
2.2
 Totally Greek Feta Attis
1.00
276
23.0
0.7
0
16.5
2.25
Sainsbury’s
1.30
284
24.3
0.5
0.5
16.0
3.0
Tesco
0.60
279
23.0
1.0
0.0
16.9
1.9
Waitrose
1.25
283
24.2
0.2
0.3
15.9
3.15

A – Attis Totally Greek Feta – 4/10

  • Fair amount of water coming off it. Very smooth and soft, rather than crumbly. Tasted kind of like set cottage cheese – not particularly salty. Fine, but not great.

B – Tesco – 6/10

  • Less water coming off than A – firmer, and more crumbly – more pleasant to eat. Decent flavour, reasonably salty. Good, but not amazing.

C – Lidl – Eridanous – 8/10

  • Another firm and crumbly feta – what I would expect from feta texture. Well-flavoured, quite sharp with a lemony taste, good level of saltiness.

D – Waitrose – 7/10

  • Fairly firm, and somewhere in the middle regarding crumbliness. Saltty, rather than lemony. Not as flavoursome as C, but pleasant to eat.

E – Sainsbury’s – 6/10

  • Firm, no water coming off. Not crumbly like some others. Not overly salty, quite lemony, with a stronger cheese flavour.

Conclusion

Sample A seemed notably different to the other four samples, and it was my least favourite. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but did seem like a different kind of product, and less suited to my personal taste. Generally, any of the other four feta samples would do me just fine, although once again the Lidl cheese was my favourite. Turns out, Lidl do good cheese.

That said, none of these samples were anything like as good as the feta from Blackwoods Cheese Company that I brought from 2 North Parade a few weeks after doing this taste test. It’s not a day-to-day supermarket purchase, and it’s pretty extravagant, so it doesn’t really belong here. But if you’re looking for something special then go and buy it – you won’t regret it.

Otherwise, go to Lidl!

*Prices correct at time of writing.