Syrian String Cheese

Todd Coleman

Unweaving the strands of Syria's ropey, salty jibneh shelal, a cows' milk string cheese, is just part of the great fun of snacking on it. To achieve its texture, the cheese is pulled during culturing, when the springy curds are formed. The black, aromatic seeds of the Nigella sativa plant are added, punctuating the white cheese with their peppery bite. Addictive as it is alone, jibneh shelal is just as good tucked into flatbread or used in a grilled cheese with awesome elasticity.