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.