Armenian String Cheese (Tel Banir)

Even though my family and I LOVE Armenian string cheese (aka Tel Banir or chechil), I’m embarrased to admit I have never made it. Current circumstances, however, might force me to give it a try. Finding the brand of string cheese we like best has become very difficult where we live. It seems the store which usually carries that brand, no longer does.
What a dilemma!

I’ve been in touch with friends and family who make their own string cheese – you know, the kind that’s prepared by pulling and twisting the cheese into a braid and is dotted with nigella seeds. It sounds do-able, as long as the correct ingredients can be found.

I’ve been told that if fresh curd isn’t available, fresh mozzarella cheese is a decent substitute – not perfect, but it gets the job done. The only other ingredients necessary are Nigella seeds, salt, mahlab and perhaps a little bit of mastic, but that’s optional. (Personally, I would omit the mastic.)

Before attempting to make string cheese on my own, I searched the internet for a video showing step-by-step instructions. One that I found is by Ani of Ani Catering and Cafe in Belmont, MA who graciously gave me permission to share the YouTube video demonstrating her technique. Thanks so much, Ani!

Click here to view Ani’s video.

When (and if) I make my own string cheese, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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