Sifnos Xinomizithra Cheese

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It is a traditional cheese of the cycladic island of Sifnos. Locals call it xinomizithra, a word that throughout the rest of Greece commonly refers to whey cheeses. But on the island of Sifnos their traditional cheese is referred to as xinomizithra despite the fact that it is not produced from whey but from whole milk, either cows or goats, or sheeps milk or various mixtures of these milks, depending on their availability.

Xinomizithra of Sifnos is a white, soft cheese, prepared without maturation in every household of Sifnos.

After milking, the milk is left to rest for 3 to 4 hours until it reaches room temperature. When the milk reaches room temperature, the rennet is added together with a little salt. The milk is then well stirred and left to rest for approximately 24 hours. During the warm months, May until August, merely the addition of rennet is sufficient for the curdling of the milk. But during the cold months, in order for the rennet to act, it needs to be supported by the addition of a liquid named tsoulvas, which locals always preserve in their refrigerator. Tsoulvas is nothing more than the whey which is separated by the curdling of xinomizithra. The next day, after xinomizithra has curdled, it is placed into woven baskets to drain for 4 to 5 hours. As soon as it drains, it is placed in a bowl, salted and kneaded.

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Egeo Meridionale

Production area:Sifnos, Cyclades Islands

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Milk and milk products

Nominated by:Antonia Trichopoulou