Telemea (Romanian pronunciation: [teleˈme̯a]) is the name of a Romanian cheese traditionally made of sheep's milk.[1] Nowadays the term encompasses cheese made out of cow's milk, and in some cases of goat's, or buffalo's milk.

Country of originRomania
Source of milkSheep, cow
PasteurisedTraditionally, no
Texturesoft, semi-soft, brined and creamy
CertificationProtected designation of origin, Protected geographical indication
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Similar to the Greek feta. American teleme cheese, Bulgarian or Macedonian sirene, and Serbian sir, Telemea can have a higher water content, making it a soft or semi-soft white cheese with a creamy texture and a tangy aftertaste. Alternatively, the cheese is put through an ageing process that makes it crisper, more flavoured and salty. Cumin seeds are occasionally added for a spicy, nutty flavor.[1] It is used as a table cheese for snacks, in salads, and in a variety of dishes (e.g., omelettes, crepes, pies).


To make Telemea cheese, rennet is added into milk to curdle it. Most commonly, cow's and sheep's milk is used, with goat's and buffalo's being more of a delicacy. The resulting curd is removed and is kept in cheesecloth, pressed overnight, then cut into square pieces. The cheese is then left to mature in brine. This fresh cheese (preserved in brine up to a couple of weeks) has its own name, caș. Subsequently, it is stored in wooden barrels named putini (singular: putină). It can be kept throughout winter in a more concentrated brine, in which case, it is desalted in fresh water before consumption.


Starting 2004, the Telemea is intended to become a protected traditional speciality product of Romania, and the following types of telemea have sought to be recognized under the PDO or PGI labels:[2]

In 2017, the EU acknowledged Telemea de Ibănești as having Protected designation of origin (PDO), followed by Telemea de Sibiu as having Protected geographical indication (PGI), in 2019.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b About Telemea at
  2. ^ "Carnatii de Plescoi nu intra inca in Europa". Libertatea (in Romanian). 28 January 2007.
  3. ^ ""Telemea de Ibăneşti" - (The Ibanesti Salted Cheese) - has become the first Romanian product to get protected designation of origin (PDO) in the European Union". Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ "EU reference site".

External linksEdit