Graviera Naxou (of Naxos) cheese is produced in the island of Naxos, in the Cyclades. It is a cheese with rind, yellow color and compact mass with small holes. It is produced in round wheels from pasteurized cow milk and a mixture that includes a small percentage of sheep and goat milk, the total percentage of which does not exceed 20%. It is categorized as a hard table cheese with a pleasant flavor and light aroma. It has a 38% maximum humidity and a 40% minimum fat content. For its production, the coagulation of the milks occurs at 36-37°C and lasts for 30-40 minutes. The curd is then divided into rice-sized grains and is warmed up to 50°C for approximately 30 minutes. At a constant temperature of 50°C, the cheese is allowed to “cook” for 60 minutes under constant stirring. The curd is then poured into molds covered with cloth and is placed under pressure for 3-4 hours. During this period the cloth is changed 3 to 4 times. After this stage, the cheese is placed in brine for 2-5 days, depending on the size of the wheel. The cheese is then removed from the brine, dried and allowed to mature for 90 days at approximately 15°C.
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