The southern Peloponnese, especially Messinia, around Kalamata and Laconia , is a unique place of production of cheese with a strong personality as tasters say. It is sfela and is called the “cheese of fire” because of the pepper and strong flavor. The sfela has been established as a product of Protected Designation of Origin.
It is a semi-hard cheese, which is matured in brine until it acquires the characteristic yellowish color. Its body is full of small holes created during fermentation. It is made by coat milk and is essentially a variation of the known feta. The method of cutting the cheese mass into small strips is the reason why it has this name, sfela means stripe.
The sfela is much loved by modern gastronomy. It is offered as an appetizer, grilled, but it is also part of demanding recipes, accompanying fine meats or vegetables such as eggplants.