Imeretian Cheese

Imeretian Cheese

Imeretian cheese is an outstanding part of Georgian cuisine. This squeaky fresh cheese goes well with just about any dish, but it is especially good with mchadi, a corn bread. It is, of course, also a key ingredient in the hugely popular Imeretian khachapuri!

How Is Imeretian Cheese Made?

Imeretian cheese is a kind of raw cheese, made by hand and also called Kheluri (“hand”) cheese.

Rennet, sometimes known as “the mother of cheese”, is added to fresh cow’s milk to curdle it. It is then placed over a low flame and stirred by hand as it curdles. The resulting mass is moderately squeezed out, rolled into balls, and put into a clay or wood bowl, where it is seasoned with rock salt and left to ripen. The salt eats into the cheese and causes holes to develop. Finally, the cheese is moved into a pitcher of brine or salty water, which preserves the cheese.

How Imeretian Cheese Is Used

In Imereti, the making of cheese for winter begins in August or September, with the cheese not taken out of the brine until the week before Lent. Imeretian cheese is often used for another flat bread with herbs filling, which is called Mkhlovani.

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