Tenili Cheese

Tenili Cheese

Meskhetian Tenili is a unique variety of Georgian cheese, which has been added to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia. This cheese is different from any other cheese you’ll find in Georgia, and was born centuries ago in the historical Meskheti province. Tenili cheese is unique for both its taste and shape, which come as a result of a great deal of hard work in its creation.

How Tenili Cheese Is Made

Tenili cheese can be made from sheep or cow milk, and stands out for its high fat content. The cheese is rolled in warm whey until it forms strings. It is then washed in cold saltwater and hung out to dry for a day, before being cut, dipped in cream, and packed into an airtight clay pot. This is where the name Tenili comes from, as Tenili means “packed” in Georgian.

It is then covered with a cheese-cloth and turned upside down onto sifted, pure ashes so that all of the moisture is removed over a period of two months.

As you can see, Meskhetian Tenili takes a great deal of work to prepare, but both foreign cheesemakers and curious tourists agree that the process is a fun cultural experience. These days, Tenili cheese can be found at markets across Georgia.

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