Feta is a white, brined cheese with small or no holes, a compact texture and no skin. It is usually formed into large blocks, which are submerged in brine. Its flavor is fresh, tangy, slightly herbal and always somewhat salty. The saltiness comes largely from the brine it is packed in. Purchasing feta not stored in brine will be less salty. Traditionally, it is made from whole sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk.
In fact, if you live or are traveling within the European Union, per EU legislation of 2002, any cheese labeled “feta” must be produced in the traditional method of certain areas in Greece (mainland and the island of Lesbos), and must be made from only whole sheep’s milk or a blend of sheep and goat’s milk, with a maximum of 30% goat’s milk. In other parts of the world, cheese labeled “feta” can also be made from cow’s milk.