In 1996, 19 cheeses from Greece were awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status defining their areas of origin and methods of production. Feta received the same status in 2002 and Xygalo Sitias in 2008. The designated cheeses are made from fresh milk by traditional methods. They contain predominantly sheep or sheep and goat's milk.
The use of cow's milk is not traditional in Greece as the nature of much of the terrain favours the farming of sheep and goats. Such cow's milk as is produced is mainly destined for drinking or the production of processed cheese. The Greek cheeses containing cow's milk that have PDO status are Graviera Naxou, San Michali and Metsovone (which also contains sheep's milk).
There are several types of cheese made solely from goat's milk in Greece, but no applications have been submitted for PDO status, yet.