Egyptian mish cheese (Jibnet mesh)

dup plate cheeseI was gifted a unique and homemade Egyptian mish cheese from Salah, an Egyptian farmer who recently returned from a visit to his family’s farm in Mansoura, Egypt; the cheese is called mish and is sharp, pungent and salty; Salah told me that President George Bush senior, upon his arrival to Egypt a few years back, had requested it and (apparently) really likes it. 

Mish is made from buffalo’s milk and in their farm, there are about forty buffaloes from which they get milk, cream (ashta)-the best cream in the world-, cheese, and of course meat on occasion. Mish is fermented in whey for a long time, in fact, it is also called old cheese (jibneh qadima); the way to eat it according to Salah is grated with tomatoes and onions. 

On a side note, according to Charles Perry, halloumi cheese originated in Egypt; in fact, it is the word for fresh cheese in the Coptic language (and the Copts were the original inhabitants of Egypt); this bit of cheese trivia surprised me, as I always thought halloumi was from Cyprus originally. 

I am afraid you (and I) are not likely to find this mish in our neighborhood supermarket. It is authentic Egyptian peasant fare and goes back most probably to the times of the Pharaohs or Cleopatra (I wonder if she liked it). 

dup mish

 

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9 Comments

  1. Posted February 3, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    That is an interesting cheese. It must taste wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Nadege
    Posted February 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Reading you blog makes me aware of so many wonderful meals, ingredients… I don’t know anything about. This cheese looks really appetizing!

  3. Posted February 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I love any vegetarian food from Egypt. I usually prepare them at home as we do not have ethic restaurants here

    The cheese sounds very intersting . Would love to eat this cheese and one day when I visit Egypt I will try this for sure :)

  4. Posted February 4, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    How fortunate you are!

  5. perla massoud
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    hello ! lovely photos !
    I would love to introduce you to a website that I found not too long ago . I’m sure you will love it :))
    here’s the link
    http://www.nogarlicnoonions.com/category/tasty-discoveries/page/4/

  6. Joumana
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    @perla; it turns out I know the mother of the man who owns the site! she is married to one of my mom’s relative, so I am sure I will get to meet him at some point; thanks for your thought :)

  7. Elena
    Posted February 5, 2014 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Joumana, what it’s like a taste of this cheese?

  8. Joumana
    Posted February 5, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    @Elena: It is very sharp, dry, like a Parmesan, except sharper.

  9. perla massoud
    Posted February 5, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    oh really ! what a coincidence !! :)
    this man is doing an amazing job by posting these photos and articles ! would love to meet him too :)
    have a great day

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