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Telemea is the name of the traditional Romanian cheese. The term encompasses cheese made out of cow's milk and more often, sheep milk. As is the case in Greek feta, Bulgarian/Macedonian sirene, and Serbian sir; Telemea can have a higher water content, making it a 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 and more flavoured. It is used as a table cheese for snacks, in salads and in a variety of dishes (e.g., omelettes, crepes, pies). Cumin seeds are occasionally added for a spicy, nutty flavor.
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, caş. Subsequently, it is stored in wooden barrels named putini (singular: putină). It can be kept throughout winter in a more concentrated brine. In this case, it is desalted in fresh water before consumption.
As of 2005, the telemea is a Protected designation of origin product of Romania, and the following types of telemea are officially recognized: