What’s in Store with Marissa Papakonstantinou : Krinos Twister’s Production Facility

Hey everyone, it’s Paralympic medalist sprinter and Canadian record holder Marissa Papaconstantinou! I’m proud to continue exploring my Greek heritage in partnership with Krinos Canada by visiting some amazing spots around the country.

As someone whose always on the go, from training, to charitable events, to speaking engagements, it can be tough to squeeze in the time to fuel my body the right way. I often put a quick crumble of Krinos Feta over salads to add a Mediterranean boost to my day, but when I’m craving something a little more, Krinos Fillo Twisters are my go-to!

To learn how the golden, flaky goodness is made, I met up with Peter Gekas, who along with his brother Bill, own and operate the Krinos Fillo Twister  Production Facility. What is now a 26,000 square foot facility just off Toronto’s Highway 7 had humble beginnings, when Peter’s parents opened a small bakery on the Danforth in 1979.

At the time, the local market wasn’t familiar with Mediterranean flavours like bougatsa (custard) or spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pies), so Peter’s parents started out by making and selling apple pies. As a way to introduce customers to the traditional Greek pastries, they gave them away as free samples to their apple pie customers. Customers quickly fell in love with both the new and traditional flavours and the business took off from there!

Even though they are feeding mouths across the country now, the recipes and techniques used in the facility will always be rooted in his mother’s homemade methods.

“When we opened our first bakery, we were able to share our family staple with not just other Greek people, not just other Mediterranean people, but with a diverse group of individuals and cultures in Canada.” said Peter. 

On the production line today were the vegetarian-friendly Spinach and Feta Cheese Snack Size Twisters…it smelled as good as you think in there! It was amazing to see the process starting out from a 100kg block of fillo dough, to thin sheets of fillo, ready to be hand-rolled and hand-packed to perfection.

Over the years, they’ve introduced new fillings to the mix like Blueberry Pomegranate and Sautéed Ground Beef, taking inspiration from Canadian food culture and adding their own twist to it.

That’s all from me for now! Make sure to stay tuned for my next visit on the Krinos Canada Kitchen Blog.

Back to School Lunchbox Idea

Hands up if you silently (or not to silently) dread making school lunches? You’re not alone, and we’ve got you covered with a healthy, back-to-school lunch that kids will love: easy to make, tasty, and fit perfectly in a lunch box.

Introducing the 2oz Mini Twisters – they’re the same great taste and crunch from the original size, only in a perfectly proportioned 2oz size, and available in two flavours.

Krinos Mini twisters are super simple to prepare: defrost, bake and pack for lunch or snack. It’s a lunch box idea even your toddlers will love, because it’s hand held and doesn’t require any utensils to serve and enjoy.

Does your family participate in after-school activities and sports? These 2oz mini twisters also make an ideal snack on the way to dance class or hockey practice, and as a healthy alternative to an after-school snack while dinner is being prepared.

Keep an eye out in your grocery store freezer section for this brand-new back-to-school product – it’ll make your life that much easier.

Krinos Cheese Maker Brings Innovation to Edmonton

When Manolis Georgantelis came to Canada from Greece less than 3 years ago, he was excited to combine the best of Greek cheesemaking with rich Canadian agriculture to create Canada’s finest feta cheese. Today, the Krinos plant in Alberta is the first Canadian organic feta cheese producer and has recently unveiled innovative retail feta packaging — Krinos Feta Multi-Packs: Two 100g individual servings of feta vacuum sealed without the use of brine. This new line of packs allows you to use one 100g serving and keep the other 100g sealed fresh.

Q : How did you get started in cheesemaking?

A: I studied food technology on the island of Kefalonia. My grandmother and grandfather were also cheesemakers and when I moved back to my hometown on the island Mytilene, I worked at one of the local cheese plants. There I was able to combine my scientific background with tradition. After 6 years of working on the production line, I became the plant manager.

Q: What is feta cheese? What makes it distinct from other cheeses?

A: Feta is a traditional Greek, soft, specialty cheese, cured in brine. Nowadays, we can make feta from cow’s, goat and sheep or any combination of these milks so as to cater to different consumer preferences. Cow’s milk feta for example, is lighter and not as buttery. Goat’s milk, is harder in texture, has a distinct flavour and a stronger aroma and interesting taste. Sheep milk has a smooth, sweet taste and velvety texture.

Aside from its delicious flavour, feta is considered a healthier cheese because it contains naturally occurring probiotics and in the soft cheese category, it is one of the lightest in fat content – for example, regular feta contains 22% fat compared to light cream cheese which contains 24% fat.

Q: How is Krinos feta different from other Canadian fetas?

A: To stay as close to the original recipe we went back to our Greek roots and sourced the best traditional recipes and combined that with top quality fresh Canadian cow’s and goat’s milk that is produced at a farm close by to our facility. Unlike other dairies that make many different types of cheeses – we are specialists in making feta cheese. It is our culture, our passion and we take pride in offering Canadian consumers the best feta cheese made right here in Canada.

Q: How do Greeks typically enjoy feta?

A: The word “feta” means “slice” in Greek and that is because the most popular use of feta in Greece is in the form of a slice on top of a Greek salad. Greeks will always have feta cheese on the dinner table and eat it with their meal as a sort of mini side dish. Feta is so versatile – it can be used in salads, bakes, pasta dishes, made into dips or spreads – it adds great flavour to so many types of foods.

Q: What does the future look like for Krinos feta cheese? What inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by all we do, all the changes and innovations we are coming up with. We started this plant with five people and today we have over 15 employees working in a fully automated, certified, modern facility. Last year, we received the gold medal for the best feta in Canada! Our new multi-packs are also a very exciting step towards the right direction. We plan to do even more in the future. I look forward to the future.

Introducing our New Krinos Feta Multi-Packs

Krinos Canada is excited to introduce new single-serve portion feta in vacuum-sealed packs providing consumers the freshest feta with more convenience. Open and use each 100g pack in its entirety while the other pack stays freshly sealed.

Traditionally, feta is stored in brine to protect the cheese from being exposed to air, which causes it to dry out and become sour in flavour. This method is still used because it allows you to consume portions of the feta block when needed and preserve the rest but at times this can be a messy process and maintaining the brine levels after use can be intimidating to some. Until now there has been no way to avoid these inconveniences.

Multi-pack benefits

• Packed in two 100g vacuum single serving sizes for proper portion control

• Ultimate freshness. Open one pack, the other pack stays fresh

• “Easy to open” peel tab on each pack

• No brine so less mess upon opening and re-storing

• Takes up less space in the fridge

• Assorted inspiring feta recipe insert in every box

Look for our new line of feta multi-packs already on select store shelves in the same section you normally shop for our feta products.

Now you can enjoy our delicious, traditionally made Krinos feta that you have come to love in a more convenient way.

Prep with Palirria

There’s nothing quite like a taste of tradition and ready-made Palirria products (imported by Krinos) are a handmade taste of home.  Their ease of preparation lend themselves perfectly to your daily lifestyle, from meals-in-minutes to easy entertaining making them great staples to stock in your home pantry.

These classic dolmas are filled with steamed white rice, aromatic dill and fresh mint hand-wrapped in soft, tender vine leaves bringing the delicious taste and quality of this Greek classic to your table. Their versatility make them easy to enjoy warm or at room temperature, as a side dish or appetizer. 

If a twist on tradition is what your taste buds are after, look no further than the Sweet & Spicy Dolmas.  These dolmas are a delicious combination of rice, red hot cherry peppers, parsley and onions that offer a delectable zing to your palate. At your next party consider plating them as an elegant starter, served alongside a savoury yogurt sauce – these dolmas will be dressed to impress.

Palirria Greek Gigantes Beans or Greek Style baked beans are classically prepared; slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce with fresh dill and parsley until perfectly creamy and tender. These buttery and aromatic beans make an effortless vegan meal. Try them warm spooned over toasted crusty bread sprinkled with feta cheese – be careful they can be addicting.

Are you preparing for the Orthodox fasting season? If so, these vegan products provide delicious options that can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways that will make you feel like you cheated.

Make life a little easier and a little tastier by adding these delectable Palirria products to your pantry.