Kariki - Malathouni
Angela Roungeri ’s cheese plant is situated at Steni, Tinos’ largest village, on the eastern slope of the island’s highest mountain, Tsiknia, opposite Mykonos. It is a new family-owned unit with a licence to produce dairy products from their own herds.
Only a year ago we discovered the existence of ‘kariki’ completely by chance. This very unusual cheese is so named because it ripens in the neck of a gourd (kariki in Greek), where it acquires an unbelievable palette of tastes – that intensify with ageing – normally found only in a ‘grand’ cheese like Stilton or Roquefort. We also learned that it had been made, even if rarely, in some villages in the past but those days were long gone.
When this year we learned that on the tip of the island there was a woman who was actually making kariki, we decided we had to meet her. The setting at Steni is wild and exciting, with Mykonos at your feet. And it was with joy that we learned that the dairy plant is one of the positive outcomes of Greece’s ongoing economic problems. After lack of demand forced Kyria Angela Roungeri and her husband to stop working on building projects, they decided to go into the business of stock farming and cheese making.
And today their accredited family unit produces two cheeses that make your eyes pop and are widely sought after.
“On Tinos kariki cheese was made only at Falatado, Myrsini, Steni and Potamia. On the rest of the island they don’t even know what the word means. Our family used to make it, and I decided to do it in the same way. We cut off the top part of the gourd, empty it and use it as a container for the cheese. We insert the cheese layered with coarse salt, compress it to remove all the air and then seal the gourd so that it’s air tight. We leave the cheese there for six months to let the fungal spores do their job”.
The other cheese that Angela mades is ‘malathouni’, which resembles the ‘kalathaki’ of Andros. She mixes the milk with the rennet and salt, puts it in the mould (kalathaki, a little wicker basket) to let it drain for 24 hours and take its shape and then puts it into a cheese bag which she hangs in an airy space to dry.
Thank you, Kyria Angela Roungeri, for the joy you gave us with your wonderful cheeses.
- AddressSteni, Tinos 84200