Kefalograviera, pronounced keh-fah-lo-grahv-YAIR-ah, is one of the newer Greek cheeses. Production was started in the 1960s and it has quickly become a favorite table cheese. The taste of this hard cheese is salty, somewhere between kefalotyri and graviera, hence the name.
Kefalograviera cheese is produced in the regions of Western Macedonia, Epirus and the prefecture of Aitoloakarnania from sheep milk or a combination with goat milk, in which case goat milk should not exceed 10% of the total.
It has a hard and thin skin, dry appearance, yellow-to-light-brown rind and is sold in wheels or wedges. It has a hard and elastic touch with many small cuts on its mass. Kefalograviera has a pleasant salty taste and rich aroma. While prized as a table cheese (appetizer, meze), Kefalograviera can also be used in saganaki (fried cheese), as a roasted cheese, or grated. It can be found at Greek or Mediterranean markets and will soon be offered in Murray’s cheese markets.
Kefalograviera has a 40% maximum humidity and 40% minimum dry fat content. For its production, milk is coagulated at 32-34 Celsius. The obtained curd is divided after 35 minutes. It is re-warmed and constantly stirred at 48 Celsius and then poured in moulds and placed under pressure. The cheese is transported to a room at 14-16 Celsius and relative humidity of approximately 85%. After a day, it is placed in 18-20 Celsius brine for two days. The maturation of the cheese is initially done in booths at 14-16 Celsius and relative humidity 85-90%. During this stage, the cheese is salted approximately 10 times and is periodically upturned. When the salting process is complete, the cheese is placed in booths with a temperature of less than 6 Celsius for the completion of maturation, which lasts at least 3 months.