Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

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The principal one is beyaz peynir, a white cheese usually made from cow’s milk. There are many varieties, including köy peyniri which is made freshly every week in the villages. Beyaz peynir differs in its salt and fat content from region to region and everyone has their own preference - from the dry, white, firm cheese to a softer yellowy one. Urfa is known for its balls of tuzsuz, saltless white cheese, Van for its soft white cheese flavoured with local mountain herbs and stored underground, and Cappadocia for its powerful, dry, crumblier version which is matured underground for months. Some are better for cooking, others delicious to eat with jam for breakfast. Blocks of white cheese are stored in brine, and if a cheese is particularly salty it may be soaked in water for a few days before eating. Others include kaşar peyniri, which is a hard, tangy, pale-yellow cheese made from sheep’s milk; lor peyniri, a deliciously creamy whey cheese traditionally made from the milk of nursing cows and sheep; tulum, which is made and stored in the stomach or skin of a goat; mihaliç, a rich unsalted cheese made from sheep’s milk; and dii peyniri, a mild cheese which, fascinatingly, peels off in thin strands.