Andreas Andriadis describes the economic situation of the island during the 18th century in his book “Economic Administration of the Ionian Islands during Venetian domination” (1914) and reports that “relatively important export trade to the Ionian Islands and Southern Italy constitute from goat cheese”.
It is mentioned in a chart that the quantity of exported cheese to Corfu, Zakinthos, Malta and Naples reaches 110 liters, while in a later inventory in 1810 the produced quantity of cheese reached 682,615 liters.
After the reuniting of the Ionian Islands with Greece in 1864, the local cheese makers faced many problems (difficulty with transportation, small market and expensive materials) together with their uneasy spirit all standing the cause for the first
creation of Kefalonian cheese products in the region of Western Greece and Kefalonian cheese makers change residence and promote their art of cheese making to the rest of Greece and abroad. At the same time sales of Kefalonian cheeses are not only made in Greece but also from abroad and therefore permanently multiplying the exports for the entire 20th century.
At the moment, 14 small sized cheese makers function on the island while roughly 45 tons of milk is produced daily from 1200 cattle-breeding families.
The main cheeses produced are Feta, Kefalotiri and Mizithra.
The name for Feta cheese originates from the Italian word “Fette”. It produces 4.000 tons annually. According to the Greek legislation Kefalonia isn’t legible to use the name “Feta” and has been promoted the name “Barrel Cheese of Kefalonia”.
Following is Kefalotyri. A hard cheese with 50 tons being produced annually. Spicy and salty flavour with an oily touch.
A great interest is also shown for local “mizithra” cheeses.
We have three different types of mizithra cheese. The hard mizithra which we usually combine it grated over pasta, the semi-hard mizithra with a rich taste and a buttery flavour and the unsalted mitzithra which is a soft white cheese.
Also still existing is pulped mitzithra known as “stoumba” that in combination with feta crumbs, olive oil and dry thyme constitutes “prentza”.