The homeland of Adygea cheese, as the name suggests, is the Republic of the North Caucasus – Adygea. There the product has a second name – Matekuaye (mate means a basket, and kuaye means cheese), because it was originally prepared in willow baskets. The product gained popularity and scale of industrial production, as well as a modern brand during the Moscow Olympics in 1980. For deliveries to the Olympic Games, even branded packaging was developed in Finland.
Features of the Adyghe cheese
- It has a high protein content (the energy value of 100 grams of the product is 19 g protein, 16 g fat, 1.5 g carbohydrates), and the proteins of the Adyghe cheese are absorbed by the body up to 98%, which is higher than the proteins of meat and fish.
- Made without rennet, which makes it suitable for vegetarians.
- It comes in three varieties: fresh, smoked and dried. Fresh is the very usual product that is found on store shelves. Smoked – rarely found in factory production, more often at home, smoked on special wood chips. Dried is found in the markets of the North Caucasus, has a specific taste.
Cow’s milk is used most often, sometimes sheep’s or goat’s. It is heated to a temperature of 93-95 degrees, and then whey is poured in, as a result of which the milk curdles. Curdled bunches are placed in willow baskets (in traditional home production) or in plastic ones (in industrial production). After that, the baskets are turned over, the heads of the cheese are removed, salted and dried. You can eat Adyghe cheese the next day; it does not require long aging.
The benefits of Adyghe cheese
Due to its nutritional properties and high protein content, cheese is recommended for pregnant and lactating women, children and the elderly. In taste and consistency, it resembles Greek feta, therefore it is quite appropriate in fresh salads, both well-known Greek and all kinds of its variations. In addition, cakes are baked with him, cheese cakes and casseroles are made. Fried Adyghe cheese is very tasty.
At the moment, the Adyghe cheese has received the status of a geographical product, that is, only enterprises of the Republic of Adygea can produce it under the Adygei brand. Cheese produced in other regions is considered counterfeit.