04 March, 2009

Turkish Cheese 2 - Braided Cheese (Örgü peyniri)

Turkish braided cheese, or örgü peyniri, is a delicious sort of string cheese made by boiling strained curds in salted water. The curds, made "doughy" by the heat, are then stretched into long lengths, then braided and either vacuum-packed (with or without marinade) or packaged in brine. I'm told that in Turkey, it is often eaten as a part of breakfast - like many other Turkish cheeses. One of the varieties at the local market is pictured at right: it's packaged with red chile peppers and chopped parsley, and it is one of the best string-style cheeses I've ever had. Surprisingly, the red chile peppers only lend the barest touch of heat - the cheese is mild and resembles mozzarella.

Örgü peyniri is somewhat comparable to the string cheese you buy in the supermarket, but there are some differences. Braided cheese seems to be cured less than "string cheese;" it's whiter, and has a taste that is milkier and less mozzarella-like. It's also "tougher" - the strands offer more resistance to chewing, and the fibers can be pulled off in finer threads than ordinary string cheese. The ropes of cheese in the braids I buy are almost three feet long, and they peel out in much finer and stronger filaments than grocery-store string cheese. It's pretty funny to watch my dog eat one of the cheese strings - I let him grab on to one end of the string and he sort of snaps and sucks it in, like a long strand of spaghetti.



Anonymous said...

TURKEY is the country that holds the utmost number of cheese types..
furkan kereci is who posted it

Unknown said...

this is so cool. now i want a cheese something. with vegtables