Kefalotyri (κεφαλοτύρι)
Country of origin Greece, Cyprus
Source of milk sheep and/or goat
Texture hard
Aging time 3 months or more

Kefalotyri or kefalotiri (Greek: κεφαλοτύρι) is a hard, salty yellow cheese made from sheep milk and/or goat's milk in Greece and Cyprus. A similar cheese Kefalograviera, also made from sheep and/or goat milk, is sometimes sold outside Greece and Cyprus as Kefalotyri.[1] Depending on the mixture of milk used in the process the color can vary between yellow and white.

A very hard cheese, kefalotyri can be consumed as is, fried in olive oil for a dish called saganaki, or added to foods such as pasta dishes, meat, or cooked vegetables, and is especially suited for grating.[2] It is also used along with feta cheese in the vast majority of recipes for Spanakopita, where many recipes say to substitute romano or parmesan if kefalotyri cannot be obtained. This is a popular and well-known cheese, establishing its roots in Greece during the Byzantine era.[3] It can be found in some gourmet or speciality stores in other countries. Young cheeses take two to three months to ripen. An aged kefalotyri, a year old or more, is drier with a stronger flavour, and may be eaten as a meze with ouzo, or grated on food.[4]


  1. Ridgway, J., The Cheese Companion (2002), ISBN 1-84092-339-3
  2. Hoffman, Susanna. 2004. The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking. Workman Publishing. ISBN 978-1563058486. p.28
  3. Harbutt, J., The World Encyclopedia of Cheese (2006), ISBN 978-0-7548-0992-0
  4. Janet Fletcher (2009-06-07). "Kefalotyri cheese offers intriguing mix". San Francisco Chronicle.
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