Turkish Food – Otlu Peynir (Herby Cheese)

Last November, when we first started to make plans about the blog, we made a Word document which was a list of all the things we could maybe write about that we loved about Turkey and Fethiye in particular. We made a Turkish food section and top of the food list was Turkish cheese. For some reason or other, it’s taken us till now to get round to including it.

This is a photo of locally produced otlu peynir.

Turkish White Cheese - Otlu Peynir

Otlu peynir – Turkish white cheese embedded with herbs

The Turks are very proud of their cheeses and there are loads of different cheeses that we can talk about in this blog…all in good time, though. As we buy them, I’ll photograph them, find out the correct name and write about them.

Today, we went to the spice stall at Fethiye Fish Market as our stocks of various dried herbs and spices are running low. As you enter the spice market, you walk past chicken, cheese, yoghurt and olive stalls. We stroll through here and browse the stalls quite a lot but today, one cheese made both of us do an about turn. There, bobbing about in a huge bowl of brine were big chunks of traditional Turkish white cheese (beyaz peynir) with herbs mixed into it (otlu peynir).

The girl on the stall clocked us straight away and swiftly opened the fridge, produced a huge knife from nowhere and sliced a piece off for us to sample. Mm Mm Mmmmmm! No words can describe it. Sold. We bought 400 grams. Half a kilo of cheese always seems a lot for two people to get through. Salty, herby, oniony cheese (if you’ve never had Turkish white cheese before, think Feta flavours) for breakfast tomorrow then. Can’t wait.

Mercifully, and maybe illogically, good quality cheese bought from the markets in Fethiye is quite a bit cheaper than the cheese you get on the supermarket shelves and their deli counters. If you’re a regular cheese eater and a regular purchaser of cheese from supermarkets in Turkey, give the independent cheese producers a go if you haven’t already. You’re missing out on a treat if you don’t – well, we think so anyway.

The spice market and cheese stalls are next door to the fish market in Fethiye – and you can find that marked on our Google map of Fethiye.

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  1. Fantastic Blog,

    I started reading this a few weeks ago after a post on the CB forum. Think ive read it all now! We will be out in Calis at the end of August so if a couple of Efes get passed along the bar in Deep Blue one night you know it will be in appreciation!! -)


  2. Aww, thanks Rob. One of the nicest comments we’ve ever had…and we’ve never been ones to refuse a beer. 🙂

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