It looks like Persian Feta. It has that familiar plush texture and lovely lactic tang. It crumbles over roast carrots and spreads on toast in the same pleasing way. And yet, there’s a difference.
This one comes from some of the world’s most cosseted camels, born and bred in sunny Queensland on richly mineralised volcanic soil. And here’s why this superfood-to-be should find its way onto your fridge shelf; ASAP.
Camel milk has a long history of being prized for its natural healing properties (there’s a reason Cleopatra took baths in it).
It’s naturally high in immune proteins. It is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C and iron. Compared to other milks, camel milk is the closest in composition to human breast milk.
Camel milk has a flavour that sits somewhere between sheep and goat milk. It’s mild and clean tasting, particularly since this herd are raised on a diet designed to produce the best possible taste.
The milk is naturally homogenised and at Summer Land it is gently pasteurised at the lowest possible temperatures to ensure it retains its active ingredients. It’s a true revelation for anyone in the market for alternatives to cow milk as it contains no beta-casein.
But beyond its health benefits and the sheer novelty, it’s delicious.
Here are twelve great ways to put it to work this weekend.
- Crumble the feta over grain bowls and warm salads like these glazed Dutch carrots with quinoa and mint. Its bright flavour will shine. Recipe here.
- Add a creamy element to a side of steamed green beans with flaked almonds, lemon juice salt and pepper.
- Spread it on sour dough or gluten free toast as a zippy alternative to smashed avo. Top with sliced tomato, salt, pepper and thyme from the cheese’s marinating oil. Brunch; sorted. Recipe here.
- Stuff a spinach omelette with a few cubes, turning a simple supper into something worth celebrating. Recipe here.
- Add another dimension to a caramelised onion galette or tart by festooning one with some just before serving.
- Create a safe harbour on cheese board. Since camel milk has no beta casein it’s suitable for most people with a lactose intolerance.
- Source a new best friend for beets. The earthiness of beetroot perfectly matches the mild creaminess of this cheese. Sprinkle some over thin slices of raw beets in a carpaccio, or whisk the cheese with some the olive oil it’s stored in until you have a creamy dressing to drizzle over a roast beetroot, their leaves and toasted hazelnuts.
- Make an emergency dip for last-minute drinks with friends by blending some cubes of the feta and their oil with frozen peas, pepitas and mint. Serve with crudités or crackers. Recipe here.
- Stuff a mushroom. Take the stem out of a Portobello mushroom and sauté it with some olive oil, a finely diced onion and a clove of garlic. Add a handful of finely chopped Tuscan kale and press it back into the belly of the mushroom. Top with feta and some breadcrumbs or flaked almonds and bake for 30 minutes at 180C/350 F until the mushroom is cooked through and the topping has bronzed. Serve with bitter green leaves for a light lunch.
- Use it to add some pizazz to a roast red pepper, pumpkin and red onion pizza, or sprinkle over the top of lahmacun – a Turkish style flat bread pressed with spiced lamb mince, onion, parsley, tomato and pine nuts.
- Take a walk on the sweet side – split fresh figs, stuff the inside with Persian feta, drizzle with honey and top with pistachios.
- Make sure you make use of the marinating oil and any goodness left in the jar. It’s perfect for drizzling over trays of roast vegetables, steamed greens, whisking into mayonnaise or using to make a lively vinaigrette.
Summer Land Camel Dairy Persian Feta will keep in the fridge for a week once opened. It can be used in a 1:1 ratio as you Persian Feta in all your favourite recipes.
Words and Recipes by Tori Haschka / About the Author
Tori Haschka is a food writer and the author of the books ‘Cut the Carbs!’, ‘A Suitcase and a Spatula’ and the app ‘Poppyseed to Pumpkin’. She regularly blogs for Harris Farm Food Markets and at http://www.eatori.com . Most days she can be found wrangling her two small children and pondering her next meal, before she’s finished her current one.