Gebna Makleyah: Egyptian Oven-Fried Cheese | culture: the word on cheese
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Gebna Makleyah: Egyptian Oven-Fried Cheese

Fried Egyptian Cheese known as Gebna Makleyah with a lemon wedge and flat bread

Taking a break from your everyday cheddars and Swisses, here’s a post of many giving you some insight into cheese used in traditional ethnic foods around the globe. The next stop on our journey through my Cheese Around the World series, is the home of the pharaohs themselves: Egypt. Like this post? Read my previous post on Indonesian Kastengel.

Native Egyptian cheeses are few in number and variety. Not much is known about them, and non-Egyptian cheeses are becoming more and more available in Egypt. In my process of digging up the dirt on these cheeses, I only found a couple. Mish is a cheese that is dry and spiced, and often made into a paste. Unlike mish, labna is a cheese that is made by straining salted yogurt, which turns into a creamy form of cheese. Gebna, which you will learn how to make today, can be similar to Greek feta cheese (gibna beida), or a sharp, hard, pale-yellow cheese(gibna rumy). It is made by pressing salted curds and allowing them to dry over a three day long period.

Gebna Makleyah is a fried cheese that is traditionally eaten with bread at meals. Learn how to make traditional Egyptian cheese here. Hungry for more? Read the next post on Jamaican Bun and Cheese.

Photo Credit: Photo by Nif via

Taylor Pierola

Taylor Pierola is a Berkeley California-based culture intern

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