Tyrokafteri (Spicy Feta Cheese Spread)

May 20, 2012 · 22 comments

in appetizers and snacks,greek

When I first came across this spread in Maria’s blog, I felt like sort of…sad. You see, I grew up in a VERY Greek household, ate a lot of Greek food (aside from restaurant eating, only Greek food, actually) and yet, somehow I had made it my whole life without ever eating tyrofkafteri. What the hell, man?!

I don’t know how I missed out on this stuff. Maybe I was too busy stuffing my face with tzatziki and skordalia to ever notice it. Maybe it’s because my family isn’t particularly into spicy foods. I don’t know. All I know is I’m really glad it exists.

The premise is simple: whipped feta spiced with hot peppers. (Tyri is cheese, kafteri means hot.) I looked at several different recipes, and the type of peppers used was all over the map. I decided to use banana peppers but feel free to use whatever you want. If you don’t have a spicy pepper, or you want it even hotter, just add a little crushed red pepper, like Maria did. ¬†One thing I do insist is that you buy some good quality feta.

We had a Greek-appetizers-for-dinner-night one recent evening, and this was served with pita. I bought Greek pita and then lightly oiled it and stuck it right over a gas burner for a couple seconds per side to crisp the edges and warm it up. By the way, if anyone out there has a recipe for Greek pita, I NEED it. Greek pita is softer and doesn’t really have a pocket, so it’s not like the standard recipes I’ve come across. Until then, Kronos and similar brands will have to do!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm



Cate May 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I need to find some good feta (I’ve bought the cheap stuff too much lately…not good) and make this!


Kelli May 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I have made a few of your recipes, and really enjoyed them. I don’t have a pita recipe, but Annie (from Annie’s Eats) has both a regular and a whole wheat pita recipe. I encourage you to try those. Have a great week!


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul May 21, 2012 at 1:28 am

Oh yeah! Tyrokafteri is just the best! I had to laugh at your comment about stuffing your face with tzatziki and skordalia. I think Peter from Kalofagas has a recipe for home made pites on his blog.


anastasia May 21, 2012 at 3:32 am

Here is a small tip that i taste it in a tavern at Pilio(Volos) and ever since i am making it this way.Try to remove vinegar and use a tablespoon of pasta tomatoe.It gives a beautifull red colour and nice taste.Good luck and greetings from thessaloniki.


fruitandcake May 21, 2012 at 3:54 am

Hi Elly, nice, very nice recipe. I think tyrokafteri is Mykonos’ trademark (and Naxos too). My mother in law comes from Mykonos and (living far away from her island) there are times that she feeds herself only with tyrokafteri !!!
Thanks for your post. Take care.


MaryR May 21, 2012 at 4:08 am

1) I must try this recipe immediately. All week I’ve been craving feta and wishing I could make a dip out of it. I didn’t realize such a thing was possible, let alone traditional!

2) I make Greek-style pitas with my regular ol’ pita recipe. I just dock the pitas with a fork before baking them. The docks prevent the puff and keeps everything super soft. Also, to bump up the softness factor I try to minimize the amount of flour that gets on the outside of the pita dough by using a tortilla press to shape the dough balls rather than roll them out. Works like a charm.


elly May 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

Thanks, Mary – I will give that a try!


Joanne May 21, 2012 at 5:41 am

How do you say WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT in Greek? Cause that’s the vibe I’m getting from this dip. How could you not love feta and spice? So good.

I have a recipe for really fluffy pitas that i LOVE. The pocket is almost non-existent…maybe they’re close to Greek pitas?


Laura May 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

I agree on the pitas. Seems they are a little bit larger too. The ones I make don’t have a pocket, and are super-soft, but I can’t seem to get them as large as I’d like. This dip looks incredible. I have a hard time getting GOOD feta, but I stock up when I can get it!


Rachel May 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

This sounds so good! I love all of the ingredients individually so I’m sure I’d love them all together, too.


Donna May 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to make it.


Josie May 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I have never heard of this before, but I am sold! Opa!


Ann P. May 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Hmmm, where can i get some awesome feta like the one you’ve pictured!? I’ve got to make this for my fiance’s family ASAP; they LOVE Greek food. :)


elly May 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I’d search for ethnic grocery stores in your area – obviously a Greek one would be best but some that are not specifically Greek will often have it at the deli counter. If you can’t find it there, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods that are packaged in brine are better than other grocery store alternatives.


Anna May 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Elly, you are bringing OPA back! I have never made tyrokafteri, but now I MUST. Love this recipe and your flava flav.


Kelsey May 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm

I’m going to echo your “What the hell, man?” I don’t think I ever had Greek food until college, but now I love it. Why hasn’t this been in my life already? I’m so making this over the weekend.


Kerstin May 28, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Yum, this looks super addicting and perfect for a party – I bet it would be a huge crowd pleaser!


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