To complete the tour of Messenia it's necessary to embark on a journey of tastes produced locally. Feta, sphaela, gruyère, mizithra cheeses and traditional yogurt are some of the dairy products of the region that the visitor must try. The sheep and goat milk used is processed by state-of-the-art factories with new techniques that work miracles. The cheese products have international accreditation in order to verify their taste, quality and originality. These products are timeless and have won many awards in fairs and contests.
The most successful product, however, that is a must to try, is the famous "talagani" cheese. It is produced in Messenia and many people believe it is the traditional local cheese, but actually this handmade cheese from 100% sheep's milk is not a purely local idea. The product was developed by Cypriot Costas Apostolou, a connoisseur, who settled in Messenia to cultivate land; his wife Eleni from Aridaia in the north started making this cheese for family and friends, based on a recipe of her grandmother.
This cheese is ideal for grilling, has a buttery flavour and resembles "formaela" or halloumi. It has conquered the world from Sweden to Singapore. "Talagani", which means shepherd's cloak, has made an impression to new chefs who adopted it immediately in their menus, so as the rest of Greeks in their recipes. Its secret ingredients remain hidden, but it is certain that it is handmade. It's ideal for the fried cheese recipe "saganaki", keeps its shape intact on the grill and makes an ideal accompaniment for salads and oven roasted fruit.