Cheeses of Andalucia


Andalusian cheeses are hardly known beyond the boundaries of its land. There are, however, excellent examples of great character and quality, that show particular features. Andalusian cheese, banished as a dessert, will always prefer the company of manzanilla, a dry light light sherry or any oloroso. The are made from goat's milk, occasionally sheep's milk, very few of cow's milk.

Cheese tours travel along tortuous roads. Our cheeses are from the mountain, not the plain, like those in the Alpujarra. In the hills of Almeria and Granada you'll always find fresh goat's cheese, and also cured, of white paste, not too pressed, cylindrical and without holes. Further south, in Sierra Nevada, we come across a very simliar cheese, white and cylindrical and weighing almost a kilo a piece. In the region of Guadix, in Lacalahorra, a sheep's cheese is made, which is infrequent in Andalusia. Cured and strong-tasting, its texture is compact; its rind marked bt carved wood used to press it.

In the region of Malaga there are two very simliar kinds of cheese, made with goat's milk. The one from Antequera is cylindrical, weighing up to 3 kilos. It is fresh, with little salt and can be found year round. That from Ronda is more elaborate, of an unctous yellow paste, with small holes. It is preserved in olive oil.

In the Castillian-Manchego area of the province of Cordova, Valle de los Pedroches, a sheep's milk cheese is porduced, most singular, sold when cured. It is one of the few found in Andalusia with a grooved rind. The best known and famed of Andalusian cheeses is that from Los Balanchares farm, in the vecinity of Doña Mencía; it is goat's cheese and is cured in ashes.

Two types of milk are used in Huelva. The cheese from the Andévalo hills is sheep's and can be organized by its rind, hard, smooth and of a toasted colour. The famous cheeses from Aracena are goat's and can be eaten fresh or ripe; their flavour is pungent and they are preserved in olive oil.

The cheese from Grazalema in the mountains of Cadiz, is made only in springtime. Hoops of esparto are employed to make it and they are consumed after town months. Goat's cheese is called Cadiz cheese. It is also produced in the mountains, where it develops character; it is semi-cured and of a yellowish colour.

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