Top 3 Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

Different french cheese rolls inside Top 3 Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

When we think of a delicious cheese, we usually prefer to enjoy it at home. From Cabrales to Idiazábal, Manchego, Tetilla and even the cheese of Burgos. We can explore all the varieties of cheeses in the world at our convenience. European countries, such as France or Switzerland, for example, are famous for their cheese. Turkey is a country with a unique cheese-making tradition and the type of cheese available can vary depending on the region. In this article we will be talking about Top 3 Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

Wooden board of different cheeses and nuts. Top 3 Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

1.- Baliskesir

Bakiskesir, located in the Edirne and Çanakkale regions of Turkey, is famous for its diverse range of 50 varieties of cheese. Which makes it a must-visit destination for cheese enthusiasts. The variety of milks, production methods and techniques used in cheese making result in a wide range of cheeses, being the most famous and the most popular. The kelle and sept cheeses, tulum (in brine) and lor (curd) are the best known, and the most famous is Mihaliç. It is only made in Balikesir and Bursa and has a spicy and salty taste (it is preserved in brine). This cheese is not only eaten on its own or as a starter, it is also used as a garnish.

2.- Eastern Anatolia

There are also cheeses in Eastern Anatolia: Erzincan, Kars and Van are three ideal places to enjoy cheeses tasting by tasting, as these three cities produce the most delicious cheeses in the region. What are the varieties? Tulum, Kasar, and Herby are prominent tourist destinations. In Kars, you can visit the Cheese Museum in the city center, and from there you can reach Bogatepe, a town where you can experience the artisanal process of producing Kasar cheese. At Van, you must visit for breakfast, as their breakfasts are famous and include Herby cheese, a hard herb cheese that feels light

3.- Cappadocia

Without a doubt, Nigde’s blue cheese is king in Cappadocia. In addition to being one of the most unique cheeses produced in Turkey. This is made in caves with a depth of about 15 meters. In these caves, the cheeses are matured for at least a year and a half, obtaining their characteristic blue color and aroma. Although it is not the only cheese that is matured in these caves, there is also the Divle Obruk cheese from Karaman. It has been brewing for over 700 years. With milk extracted from goats and sheep that are fed with medicinal herbs. Konya, another city in Cappadocia, is known for its unique mature cheese, which used to be given to Ottoman soldiers as an antibiotic treatment.

What is cheese?

Aged cheese chair wooden shelf cooking appetizer food meal snack eat on table copy space Top 3 Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

Cheese is a derivative of milk that is produced by the maturation of milk curds after removing whey. The varieties of cheese vary according to the origin of the milk used, the production procedures used and the degree of maturity reached. You can get milk from cows, goats, sheep, buffaloes, camels, and ruminant mammals.

Beneficial bacteria acidify milk and define the texture and flavor of most cheeses. Some also have molds on their interior and exterior surfaces.

How is cheese made?

To make the cheese, 5 steps are required. Here are some of them:

Milk pre-treatment

Before we begin, we can mention some previous steps that are only done in certain situations. Thermal pasteurization in cheeses that are not made with raw milk or the mixing of milks from several animals (obviously, in mixed cheeses) are two examples.


Different french cheese rolls inside

It is the process that differentiates cheese from other dairy products and is the first and most crucial of all processes. In essence, it involves processing milk by incorporating bacteria (lactic ferments) or enzymes (coagulants) of animal or vegetable origin, the best known being lamb and thistle curds.

Enzymes and bacteria cause acidification. In other words, it lowers the pH level of the milk, which promotes its preservation (prevents the proliferation of “bad” bacteria). And gives it some of the organoleptic traits that are the ones that define cheese.

Cutting & Drying

The milk forms a solid dough and is treated to reduce its moisture content, which is the main way to keep the cheese fresh. The main goal now is to split the curd from the whey or whey.

Curd can be dried in a number of ways. The most common method of cutting is with a lyre. However, stirring, heating (temperature plays an important role in the result). Or centrifuging to encourage the curd grains to exude the whey more effectively than other techniques that are frequently used. In addition, it is the right time for the pressing process.


A pre-cheese has already been created, which has already gone through the process of being shaped, strained and drained using various cloths. Adding salt to the dough makes the crust stronger and tastier, and it also prevents water from getting in and causing problems.

While some cheeses are salty, a lot of them are not. This is the case of hard pasta, such as Parmesan and Pecorino. Which are called pasta filata, and cheeses that are preserved in salt water. This is an alternative method of salting (either shorter or longer in duration), the other being dry salting.

Maturation (refinement)

This is a crucial moment, when no action seems to be taken. But, in fact, something is done. The final result of maturation, including aroma, taste, appearance, and firmness, is influenced by factors such as time, temperature, and humidity. The duration of the process can range from twelve days to a year. Resulting in a wide variety of cheeses from the same initial ingredients.

It is not uncommon to help in the ripening process by rotating, cleaning (dry or wet), rubbing (with salt, vegetable products, spices of all kinds). Or, simply, by exercising patience and letting the microorganisms, the primary actors, at this stage, do their job.

The history of cheese, the origin of cheese

Wooden board of different cheeses and nuts. Top 3 Places to Buy Cheese in Istanbul, Turkey

Cheese has a long and uncertain history, and we don’t know exactly when or where it came from, but we can be sure of some facts. Between 8000 and 3000 B.C., man began to raise animals, such as sheep, and this led to the creation of the first cheeses. That was the time when our ancestors tasted this ancient food that has a fascinating past that will make you hungry.

The Birth of Cheese and Its Legend

A folk tale is about a merchant from Arabia who carried milk in a jug made from the stomach of a sheep while traveling through the vast desert. He found that the milk had spoiled because the lamb’s stomach had turned bitter and the desert was very hot. A different version of the same story features Kanama, a shepherd from Asia Minor. Who also had the same result: he found a tasty food thanks to the process of sourting milk. According to Greek mythology, the gods of Olympus granted humans the knowledge of cheese-making as a divine offering.

The First Documented Cheeses

Aged cheese chair wooden shelf cooking appetizer food meal snack eat on table copy space

Various cultures have stored cheese for centuries as a way to preserve food in difficult times. It is a food that has many advantages, such as being easy to transport, lasting a long time. And having a lot of fat, protein, phosphorus, and calcium.

The oldest artifacts have been discovered in Ancient Egypt. It is believed that cheeses such as cottage cheese were made by processing milk, storing it in bags made of goatskin, and straining it onto mats made of cane. The dairy was discovered in Ancient Mesopotamia, where it is considered the cradle of its origin. An image of a long wall with writings of a place where people worshipped a goddess of life. The article tells us how they made cheese by obtaining cow’s milk, turning it to obtain curd, squeezing the whey and storing it in jars.

In Ancient Greece, cheese was highly valued and was used in both savory and sweet recipes. It was not consumed alone, but combined with other ingredients such as flour, honey, oil, raisins and almonds. However, it was Ancient Rome that propelled its popularity to unforeseen heights. Cheese, especially goat’s cheese, was a common food for the ancient Romans. Who often added thyme, pepper, pine nuts, and other nuts to it. The production process was remarkably similar to the one we employ today. And this was the cause of its widespread adoption throughout the Empire.

The expansion of cheese around the world

Research showed that as the Roman Empire grew, cheese-making methods spread throughout Europe. This led to the emergence of different regional techniques. He experienced the same result during his fall. As barbarian peoples conquered new lands, they also shared their knowledge of cheesemaking with the people who lived there. The knowledge of cheesemaking was spread by the Vikings to the Baltic countries. England and Normandy, and later, the Crusades united Byzantium (the eastern part of the Roman Empire). And Arab cultures with Western Europe, who shared their cheesemaking knowledge.

As trade and urbanization grew in the Middle Ages, cheese became a key element to the economy. As a result, global trade began to grow. And this growth was marked by the establishment of new trade routes following the discovery of the New World.


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