String cheese

March 6, 2011  •  Category:


Alice, my seventeen-year old daughter, loves to eat with her fingers. When this cheese is brought home, she loves to pull out each string one by one and eat it at her leisure.

I was watching her do just that yesterday, and she said: ” Mom, why don’t you post on this cheese? This is the real string cheese, not the little sticks  you used to get in the individual packages”.

Done. This cheese is called majdoul in Lebanese, which means braided. The braids are hand formed. The taste of this cheese is mild, similar to a mozzarella. It is often available flavored with nigella seedsor caraway seeds or some other flavoring.

In Lebanon, it is amongst the three or four most popular cheeses. The other being halloumi, feta, labneh and kashkawan. In the US, it is made in California and sold in all Arabic groceries.

This cheese will disintegrate very well if soaked in water for a long time, which makes it ideal for recipes requiring a melting cheese, like a beoreg or turnover or bread. Just pull the strings out and soak it in fresh water, changing the water every so often, which will desalt it and soften it.

Or, you can  spend several hours unraveling the strings. What a great activity this would be for some kids bored with their toys!


38 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Claudia says:

    And my daughter wonders why I don’t peel the cheese into little strings. I love the idea of the flavorings with seeds. I love that it doesn’t come in tiny individual plastic packets! Fun posting.

  2. Christine @ Fresh says:

    This is something that I would definitely be interested in trying, it looks like it’s so much fun to eat!

  3. Anita says:

    I used to and still to this day only eat it like Alice! It tastes better than way. The other thing I used to eat with fingers (and everyone always laughed at me) was Fattoush, I dont know why. This cheese is so delicious.

  4. weirdcombos says:

    My uncle used to be a cheese maker in Brazil at this small dairy cooperative and his specialty was making this mozarella type of cheese in many different shapes and flavors. I just loved visiting his town because he would take me on a tour of the place and I devoured the many different samples he would present to me.

    *Sorry for the waning related to mal-ware. There is nothing wrong with our site, apparently the issue is with a link we have on our site from another website. Try using a different browser such as Internet explorer or firefox.
    The warning will be coming up for Chrome and Safari for a bit.’


  5. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    I love eating with my hands too…. this cheese looks wonderfully fun! I am going to make a trip to the Arabic grocery store next weekend to look for it.

  6. Banana Wonder says:

    hah, funny, I used to see (and buy/eat) these cheese all the time when I lived in Los Angeles (shopped mostly at Armenia stores). Love the nigella seeds!

  7. oum mouncifrayan says:

    c’est très appétissant ça! merci à Alice

  8. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Haha I think I went through a phase like that too! This is such a fun dish and I love cheese 🙂

  9. Rosa says:

    A lovely speciality!



  10. Cherine says:

    I love this cheese!!

  11. Priya says:

    Thats a really an interesting cheese..

  12. Yasmeen says:

    yum, my favorite cheese of all time! i love melting it in arabic bread with fresh mint and olive oil. your daughter is definitely on to something 🙂

  13. Leonie says:

    I once had a wonderful breakfast of this in Aleppo, Syria: You got that very salty string cheese and a kind of semolina syrup sauce, which was very sweet. You rolled the cheese into a piece of flatbread and dipped it in the sticky sweet sauce. Strange to my palate at first, but I keep on thinking about it… so good!
    Do you know of this or what it is called?

    • Joumana says:

      @Leonie: I am going to ask another blogger from Aleppo fo you. She blogs in French and her blog is called ParisAlep.

  14. Louise says:

    Oh my son would just absolutely LOVE this. He’s cheese crazy, and 10 years old. I’ll have to try and find this in Australia.

  15. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Love the design on that package. 🙂

  16. Ivy says:

    I must say I am ignorant about this cheese but looks very interesting. You also mention kashkawan which reminds me of the Cypriot cheese kaskavalli, which I have mentioned it in the cookbook. Do you know if it Is similar?

  17. TheKitchenWitch says:

    How cool does that look? I bet it beats the heck out of the waxy stuff we have here!

  18. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Great to meet you…and this cheese! This really is the real thing…I still like playing with my food.

  19. Pamela says:

    Dear Joumana: I will look for this cheese in the local market. And the Eal Grey Cake I will definitely make ASAP! big hugs

  20. Nadji says:

    J’en ai vu dans mon magasin oriental et j’avoue que je savais pas trop quoi en faire.
    je note.
    Bonne semaine et à très bientôt.

  21. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    I’d love to get my hands on this cheese. It looks so yummy! By the way I made the braised cauliflower with Tarotar sauce today and we finished an entire head of cauliflower!

  22. Diane says:

    I am fascinated, I have never seen cheese like this before! Diane

  23. lisaiscooking says:

    This is a delicious cheese! I’ve never seen it with nigella seeds, but that sounds great. Next time I find this cheese, I’ll add some nigella.

  24. pigpigscorner says:

    Very interesting, I’ve never had this before!

  25. Namitha says:

    Beautiful cheese.

  26. Susan says:

    I would love the caraway version and I’d enjoy pulling the strings apart too 🙂

  27. domi says:

    Ce fromage et une énigme et une découverte pour moi. Je chercherai dans les épiceries orientales….

  28. Ivy says:

    Thanks for the reply Joumana. I think it must be similar as i ready in the food dictionary.

  29. Sara says:

    Joumana, I’m going to buy this wonderful cheese tomorrow for my kids…I have seen it in my local ME markets but never tried it! Thanks for introducing us!

  30. Mariam says:

    One of my favourite cheeses. So yummy! My mom made it the other day into mini croissant , it was really good!

  31. FOODESSA says:

    Would you believe if I told you that in most of Montreal’s Middle Eastern stores…this cheese originates from the Italian mozzarella produced at Hubby’s company and then it’s transformed into an Arabic cheese etc. No fooling. I was stunned when he told me this a while ago. Apparently, there seems to be other variants also that are processed the same way. Go figure. Does it always start with the Italians. LOL

    Anyhow, I really agree with your daughter…better this cheese than that processed kind wise gal ;o)

    Ciao for now,

    • Joumana says:

      @Foodessa: Claudia I believe you! The cheese does taste just like mozzarella and what a clever way to repackage it! I wonder when the idea to make it into a braid started and where it did.

  32. Lori says:

    I so love this cheese. I love nigella seeds. Cant get enough of them. I just found out about an Arabic store. I am so looking forward to going there. This is for sure one of the things I want to buy! And labneh. Love it!

  33. Magic of Spice says:

    This is definitely a wonderful cheese…you have a pretty smart young lady there 🙂

  34. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Wow, had no idea this was made in CA. Will have to look for it with the caraway seeds!! That’s a new one too!

  35. Ani says:

    So funny Armenians have the same cheese.

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