The earliest references to cheese production in Greece date back to the 8th century BC and the technology used to make cheese from sheep’s or goat’s milk, as described in Homer’s Odyssey involving the contents of Polyphemus’s cave, is similar to the technology used by Greek shepherds today to produce feta. Cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk was a common food in ancient Greece and an integral component of later Greek gastronomy.
Feta cheese, specifically, is first recorded in the Byzantine Empire (Poem on Medicine 1.209) under the name prósphatos (Greek: πρόσφατος, “recent” or “fresh”), and was produced by the Cretans and the Vlachs of Thessaly. In the late 15th century, an Italian visitor to Candia, Pietro Casola, describes the marketing of feta, as well as its storage in brine.
The Greek word feta (φέτα) comes from the Italian word fetta (“slice”), which in turn is derived from the Latin word offa (“a morsel”, “piece”). It was introduced into the Greek language in the 17th century, became a widespread term in the 19th century, and probably refers to the practice of slicing cheese in order to place the slices into barrels.
Source : Wikipedia.org