After a fire ravaged the tiny greek village of Kefalas in 1997—endangering the olive trees that have stood for more than 150 years and the livelihood of its 21 farms that produce a variety of olives making up the local co-op, the word ‘cooperative’ took on a truer meaning. The frightening experience inspired villagers to work together to ensure the town would not face this kind of peril again. They converted their vehicles into hybrid fire trucks—with pumps that could be fitted with water hoses—just in case a similar blaze threatened the groves of Kefalas again.
Feta cheese has been a part of Greece for nearly as long as humanity itself. It comes from the very first cheese around 8,000 years ago, which was made soon after people began domesticating animals. Historians believe that milk began to ferment while being transported in the stomach of a goat or sheep. The shepherds noticed that the new product lasted much longer than fresh milk—and cheese was born.