France and Italy are world-renowned for the quality of sumptuous cheese they produce. However, many of us don’t know that Spain, too, produces one of the most delicious cheeses in the world. From the cured Manchego to delicious Cabrales, the massive variety of tasty cheese that Spain offers will surely make your stomachs cry with hunger pangs.
Categories Of Spanish Cheese
The delectable Spanish cheeses can be broadly categorized into the following three classes:
- Queso Fresco: It is the freshest possible cheese (queso) that has not been aged or cured.
- Queso Semi-curado: As the name suggests, it is semi-cured cheese that has been aged or cured for 2-3 months.
- Queso Curado: It is a cheese that has been cured for at least four months in a cellar or cave.
6 Spanish Cheeses That You Should Definitely Try
In Spain, the per capita per year consumption of cheese is almost 9 kilos. Interestingly, more than 50% of it is either fresh or semi-cured. However, the cheeses that are aged for 3-4 months in caves are considered to be the most special ones by the cheese-lovers across the globe.
Out of more than 150 varieties of cheese, we present you the following six, which you should definitely try.
- Manchego Curado
Manchego is Spain’s favorite cheese, which is made from 100% sheep milk. This mouthwatering cheese gets its name from the Manchego sheep, which is easily found in the barren plains of La Mancha located in Central Spain.
After soaking the cheese in saline water for up to two days, it is aged for at least two months (semi-curado) and for a maximum period of two years (curado). It is strongly believed that cheese like Manchego is being produced in the same way, using the milk of Manchego sheep, since Bronze Age!
The famous blue cheese from Spain is traditionally made from a mix of goat’s and sheep’s milk. However, it can also be made from the raw milk of cows. The milk used to prepare this special cheese is taken from the cows, goats, and sheep that graze in the mountainous ranges of Picos de Europa.
Once the wheels of Cabrales cheese are ready, they are aged for at least 3-4 months in humid mountain caves, which gives it a unique strong flavor.
It may not be the most famous cheese, but this pale-yellow cheese is extremely creamy and mouthwatering. It is specifically prepared from the milk of cows from the Galicia region of North-West Spain.
Arzúa-Ulloa cheese is aged for a minimum of six days and gets its name from the Ulloa river.
- Torta Del Casar
Torta Del Casar gets its name from Cáceres – a UNESCO World Heritage City in South-West Extremadura. It is prepared from the milk of Merino and Entrefino sheep and is then cured for at least 60 days.
It is in the form of a round, small cake, which means ‘Torta’. Its rind, or the outer coating, has a unique consistency, which unearths a tempting, creamy cheese.
This lightly smoked, nutty-flavored cheese is from the northern provinces of Navarra and the Basque Country. It is prepared from the unpasteurized milk of Carranzana and Latxa sheep and is then aged for 60 days.
It has a balanced flavor and a fatty texture, and it can be easily enjoyed with all kinds of dishes.
Mostly made from goat’s milk, with 15% of the combination of cow’s and sheep’s milk, the wheels of Herreño cheese are smoked over the trunks from fig and prickly pear cactus.
Herreño cheese hails from the Canary Island of El Hierro. It tastes heavenly when grilled, and it literally melts in your mouth. It can also be enjoyed by drizzling it with local palm honey.