Cheese may just be cheese to you if you’re not a chef or in a related business. You still need to know if what you’re buying is fake, even if it doesn’t help you to bring home the cheddar. Pardon the cheesy puns.
How are you supposed to know if the feta cheese at the store is the real deal or a fake? It helps to know how real feta is made, how it’s used in recipes, and what to look for when you go to buy it. But, it’s also important to understand that not all grocery store cheeses are the same.
Professional cook Ethan Chlebowski explains:
This cooking aficionado recommends you look closely at feta sold in crumbles. You’re paying a premium price for the few seconds it takes to crumble up your own feta cheese, and the crumbled feta often contains additives to keep it from sticking together. Unless the flavor of additives is what you were going for, it’s best to steer clear of pre-crumbled cheese in favor of the block kind.
Also, if you see brine versus no brine, keep in mind that the salt brine is a part of what gives feta its special flavor. If it doesn’t have brine, it’s probably not real feta cheese. This point is important if you’re using it for a recipe. The flavor profile will be totally different if you choose a no-brine option.