Shortage in Greek Feta cheese due to Tiktok (video)

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Shortage in Greek Feta cheese due to Tiktok (video)Last month, TikTokers marked International Uunifetapasta Day, cooking for their families and boosting feta cheese sales around the world

As TikTok entered the lives of teenagers worldwide over the last few years, parents struggled to see how mimicking ‘influencers’ could ever be produced, according to greekcitytimes.com.

In February 2019, the same month that TikTok reached a billion downloads worldwide, Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen (liemessa. fi) published a recipe on her pasta blog oven-baked feta cheese.

It gave it a hashtag: #uunifetapasta (oven feta pasta).

Jokingly, she asked her readers: “Have you tried this viral pasta? I have, this morning when I came up with it”.

She had no idea she had just shared a prophecy.

TikTok celebrates ‘International Uunifetapasta Day’

Last month, TikTokers marked International Uunifetapasta Day, cooking for their families and boosting feta cheese sales around the world.

The recipe is a simple one – basically Greek “bougiourdi” (baked feta) with pasta: Place a block of feta and a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and top with chili, salt, and pepper. Bake, and mix the creamy goodness with some cooked pasta and basil.

The bougiourdi is a special delicacy for those who love cheese. Made in the oven utilizing a small ceramic pan, the main ingredients are feta cheese, yellow hard cheese, green pepper, and spicy green pepper, tomato, oregano and olive oil.

Häyrinen knew it was a good recipe, but never could she have imagined that the simple dish would go on to impact sales of feta cheese as it did, first in Finland and then, riding a viral wave on TikTok two years later, globally.

Her original blog post in Finnish has over 2.7 million views. To put that into perspective, consider that Finland is a country of 5.5 million people.

Still, those numbers are nothing compared to what happened after American blogger MacKenzie Smith (grilledcheesesocial.com) translated the recipe. Seeing it go viral on her Instagram, she then posted a video tutorial to TikTok in January.

Yumna Jawad (feelgoodfoodie.net) liked it and posted it too, using the hashtag #fetapasta, which now has more than 600 million views.

“It’s overwhelming,” Häyrinen, who loves Greek food, notes in an email. “I knew it was going viral in the States, but the final confirmation was when I was contacted by newspaper US Today, and they told me it was viral after big accounts posted it. After that, I decided to join TikTok too”.

The Wall Street Journal reported that feta sales at supermarket chain Fresh Market Inc. increased  45%.

Walshe Birney, who oversees the specialty-cheese counters at US supermarket chain Kroger, was quoted in the New York Times pointing out that “This is the largest and most geographically broad interest and sales increase in a product that I have personally ever seen.”

While in Europe, feta cheese is a PDO (protected designation of origin) product, meaning that only cheese made in Greece with milk from ewes and goats may be called feta, that’s not the case in the US, and American cheesemakers have seen a sharp increase in demand of their product.

White, brined cow’s milk cheeses, often chalky and tasteless, should never be confused with the creamy, flavourful, real PDO Greek feta.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: pixabay.com

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