Spanish people usually eat cheese everyday: with bread, as a tapa, as a dessert or even by itself. Due to the clima and geography variability across the country, along with large culture diversity, each region produces several varieties.
The cheese production in Spain has become in an important matter. As well as it happens with wine, currently there are many “Denominations of Origin” spread across the country. Specifically there are 23 types of cheese which are able to cover every the wide range of likings.
List of Denominations of Origin
- AFUEGA´L PITU
- GAMONEU o GAMONEDO
- QUEIXO DO CEBREIRO
- QUESO ARZÚA-ULLOA
- QUESO CAMERANO
- QUESO CASÍN
- QUESO DE L´ALT URGELL Y LA CERDANYA
- QUESO DE LA SERENA
- QUESO DE MURCIA
- QUESO DE MURCIA AL VINO
- QUESO FLOR DE GUÍA y QUESO DE GUÍA
- QUESO IBORES
- QUESO MAJORERO
- QUESO MANCHEGO
- QUESO NATA DE CANTABRIA
- QUESO PALMERO
- QUESO TETILLA
- QUESO ZAMORANO
- QUESUCOS DE LIÉBANA
- SAN SIMÓN DA COSTA
- TORTA DEL CASAR
Each type differs to the other by its unique characteristics that affect the taste of the final product. The type of the milk (goat, sheep, cow or a mix of them), the curing process, the production process, the clima of the region or the history are some of these characteristics.
It depends both on type of milk and breed of animal, as well as the aging curing process. the flavours are usually split in strong, medium and light, where strong ones are tipically made with sheep milk and have a longer curing process, and the midium and light ones have a large percentage of cow milk which gives a softer flavour.
Strong flavoured cheeses.
This kind of cheese spends a longer time on their curing and aging process, and are sometimes smoked to give them a stronger taste. They matches very well with meat meals and red wine. Cabrales, the most famous and strongest, is made with a mixture of milk of sheep, goat and cow. It is blue cheese matured in limestone caves for 2 to 5 months in Asturias (in north of Spain). Gamoneu is similar cheese which has a softer flavour just because it is matured in a different region, although neighbour.
Regarding to the sheep milk cheeses, there are some examples such as Manchego, produced in Castilla-La Mancha (probably the best known out of Spain), Roncal from Navarra, Zamorano from Castilla y Leon and Idiazabal, from Basque Country.
Medium flavoured cheeses.
These cheeses are usually semi-cured, thus they have a softer taste and usually fit very well with young wines and rosé wines. Some examples of medium-flavoured cheese are Arzua–Ulloa from Galicia, Mahon from the Balearic Islands, and Izbores goat’s milk cheese from Extremadura.
Light flavoured cheeses.
Tetilla or San Simon, both from Galicia, are very good examples of this kind of cheeses. They are generally not altered or fermented except for the process of lactic fermentation.Tetilla or San Simon, both from Galicia, are very good examples of this kind of cheeses. They are generally not altered or fermented except for the process of lactic fermentation.
If you are interested on the best Spanish cheeses you have to visit our excellent selection of the best cheeses which is getting better every day: