Cheese Around the World II

December 20, 2022

Olivia Mele, Reporter

Greetings beloved Cheese Around The World fans. I hope all is well with you in the non-cheese world, these holiday times can be quite tumultuous. I myself am looking forward to a very silent, very uncomfortable Christmas Eve lunch with extended family. Presumably containing conversations as bland as this month’s cheese “Ayibe”. If you can resonate with this, here are some ideas that might perk up the dinner table discussion: “Hey grandma! Who did you vote for in the last election? Do you think we should be able to own guns? Vaccines. Thoughts?” These are tried and true methods for light and friendly banter.

But onto bigger and better thingsother than holiday delight. Cheese! Ayibe. What is it?       

An Ethiopian Staple

Ayibe hails from Ethiopia, a country in central eastern Africa. It is similar to Greek feta and Western cottage cheese in both its beige flavor and in its simplicity, making this a difficult-to-mess-up cheese that is perfect for preparing at home. Also, if you do want to try to make Ayibe, there will be a recipe link at the end of this article. (Same with all following CATW articles. ) If you have ever wondered why many cultures, especially African and Middle Eastern cultures, seem to all have a version of “flavorless” cheese as a side dish, the answer is that those cultures also often enjoy very spicy foods. The cuisine in Ethiopia especially, has been described as having “complex and sometimes fiery tastes” (Cook’s). Therefore, pairing the two aspects cools the “fiery” element of the food, while still allowing the deep fusion of flavor notes produced by the spices to be expressed. This unique culinary approach results in quite a scrumptious bite!

I’d like to conclude by saying I hope that everyone has a peaceful and restorative holiday time, no matter how many awkward I-am-related-to-you-but-I-do-not-know-you side hugs you are forced to give. CATW out.


Recipe link: Ayib (Homemade Fresh Cheese) and Ethiopia Cookbook Review – Tara’s Multicultural Table (


(Ayibe picture) TasteAtlas. Ayibe | Local Cheese From Ethiopia | TasteAtlas. 26 Nov. 2016, 

 (Cooks’s)”Ayib.” Cook’s Info, 21 Sept. 2011, Accessed 26 Dec. 2022.