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Kosher Nexus
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Cheeses of Nazareth. OK, Kidding. The Many Cheeses of Israel


Brinza Cheese – ברינזה

An Arab semi-hard white cheese derived from cow’s milk. Can be used in cooking.  Around 15% fat content

Bulgarian Cheese / Bulgarit – בולגרית

A white cheese, similar to Feta but saltier.  Popular in Israel, this cheese originates in the Balkan countries.  From 5% – 28% fat content.  Great in salads or where any Feta type cheese is called for.  Nice on pizza too.

Canan Cheese – כנען

A white cheese with a 5% fat content.  No salt has been added.  Great for baking and also in cheese-cakes.  Expect to pay around 45 shekels/kilo

Cottage Cheese – גבינת קוטג

Emek Cheese – עמק

A hard, light-yellow cheese popular in Israel. The recipe hasn’t changed since 1942. It takes 1.5 cups of milk to produce a 28gr slice of cheese.  Made from cows’ milk it usually has a 28% fat content.  Sliced in a sandwich, melted in a toasted cheese {Heb: Tost} it can also be used on pizza, pashtidot, (crustless quiche), souffles and cheese sauces.  It has a mild flavor but does not quite measure up to Edam, Sweetmilk or Cheddar cheeses. Expect to pay between 40 -45 shekels/kilo

Galil Blue Cheese – גליל

Tnuva’s brand name for their Roquefort style blue cheese is Galil.  Each dairy has its own name like Roq-Kfar, Bar-Kfar or Kachol Lavan.  Blue cheese goes well with thick crusted country-style bread, grapes, apples and walnuts. Sweet dessert wines are often drunk as accompaniments to blue cheeses; some enjoy a Cabernet Sauvignon with their blue cheese.  Add it to creamy salad dressings.  If you are not put off by the distinct smell, you will discover a strong, salty flavor.  Made from sheep’s or goats’ milk.

Gilboa Cheese -גילבוע

Similar to Emek, Gilboa has a 22% fat content, Gilboa is a hard yellow cheese. Just like Emek it can be used in recipes that call for Edam, Sweetmilk or Cheddar.  It is similarly priced to Emek.

Labaneh – לבנה

A soft white cream cheese, popular in the  Middle-East. Labaneh starts off as a yogurt which has been strained to give it a firmer consistency. It is derived from goat, sheep or cow’s milk.  Often served in balls with olive oil, zaatar and pita. Around 9 – 30% fat content.

Soft-white, Cream Cheeses  –  גבינה לבנה

From 3% fat content and upwards, white, creamed cheese is made by all the large dairies.  250 gr tubs are the usual size, but it can also be bought in 500 and 750 gram tubs.  These larger sizes are great for your Shavuot cheese cake. You can substitute white creamed cheese for recipes that call for sour cream and white yogurts.

Symphonia and Napoleon have higher fat contents, often flavored with garlic, onions, dill etc.  they are similar to the American Philadelphia cheese.

Tal HaEmek Cheese – טל העמק

Tal HaEmek is Israel’s version of the Swiss Ementhaaler cheese. It has a sharp flavor. Tal HaEmek has around a 30% fat content. Expect to pay around 60 shekels/kilo

Tzfatit Cheese – צפתית

Tzfatit cheese is a semi-hard, salty white cheese with a rubbery consistency. It was produced in Israel originally from sheep’s milk by the HaMeiri dairy in Safed in 1840 and is still produced there by descendants of the original cheese makers.  It is made from cows’, goats’ or sheep’s milk.  Price point – around 80 shekels/kilo. Use it lasagne, pashtidot, boerekas or any recipe that calls for white cheese.