Tenili cheese

Ark of taste
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Tenili cheese is a Meskhetian (the ethnic Turks formerly inhabiting the Meskheti region of Georgia) cheese made in Georgia’s Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions . The cheese is obtained from shee or cow’s milk, the important is that the milk must have a high fat content.
The recipe of Tenili cheese is very long and difficult; in fact Meskhetian used to prepare it only for celebrations.
Pieces od cheese are added to boiling water to soften it, and make it pliable. The pieces of softened chesse are then pressed togheter. Then, the cheese is repeatedly stretched into thinner and thinner strands.
The stretching process is done quickly and continuously. Once the cheese has been stretched into very fine strands it is immersed in cold, salted water (“Tsatkhi”) and left for at least 15 minutes (some cheese makers leave it for several hours). The strands are then squeezed to removed excess liquid. The strands of cheese are then hung to dry on a pole.
The cheese is then placed on a wooden board and left to completely dry. Once dry, the cheese is dipped in heavy cream and pressed by hand into large pots (from which the term “Tenili” comes) and covered with a cloth. After 2-3 days, the cheese is turned inside the pots and pressed again to remove any liquid. After a further 1-3 days the cheese is pressed again and the pots are turned upside down and placed on a layer of ash. The cheese is then stored in a refrigerator or cool place. It is consumed in special events and celebrations.

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Milk and milk products

Indigenous community:Meskhetian
Nominated by:Emzar Jvaridze