your source for cheeses, gastronomy in portugal
your source for cheeses, gastronomy in portugal

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Portugal > Gastronomy > Cheeses


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Portugal is a country with a mixture of mountain ranges, large rural plains, and everything in-between. An assortment of quality cheeses can be found made from cow's milk, sheep's milk and goat's milk. A cheese named "Serra" is considered by most as being the best tasting product and is priced accordingly. The Azores Islands are also well known for their high quality cheeses which tend to be made from mainly cow's milk. Visitors will find a large selection in local supermarkets but Portuguese chesses are seldom encountered outside the country.

A few useful expressive useful words when choosing your cheese:
"Amateigado" = Buttery smooth
"Casca" = Wrapping or Shell
"Cru" = Raw
"Curado" = Cured
"DOP" = Protected Designation of Origin (As used in examples of wine regions)
"Duro" = Hard
"Fatias" = Sliced
"Leite de Cabra" = Goat's Milk
"Leite de Cabreiro" = Goat's Milk
"Leite de Ovelha" = Sheep's Milk
"Leite de Vaca Cow's Milk
"Ligeiro" = Light
"Mole" = Soft
"Picante" = Spicy
"Seco" = Dry
"Gordura" = Fat
"Sabor Forte" = Strong flavour
"Sabor Suave" = Smooth flavour
"Velho" = Old and aged more than 90 days

Amarelo da Beira Baixa - Made from a mixture of raw sheep and goat's milk with a very strong smell but mild flavour. Similar cheese is to be found from Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova and Vila Velha.

DOP Queijo de Azeitão - made from sheep's milk and found in the area of Azeitão.

DOP Queijo de Évora - Made from raw sheep's milk with a long curdling process. Flavour is medium strong with black pepper.

DOP Queijo de Nisa - Very similar to the cheese made in the Évora area.

DOP Queijo Picante de Beira Baixa - This cheese is possibly the spiciest of the Portuguese cheeses. Made from raw sheep or goat’s milk o or a mix of the these two products. Only for serious lovers of cheese because of its intense flavour.

DOP Queijo de Pico - Normally made from raw cow's milk on the Island of Pico in the Azores but an also be mixed with goat's milk. This cheese enjoys a popu8larity with "cheese aficionados".

DOP Queijo de São Jorge - Made from cow's milk on the Island of São Jorge in the Azores. Nutty and strong smelling and advisably not to be consumed in quantity.

DOP Queijo de Seia - Made from sheep's milk but sometimes mixed with goat's milk. Cured with Cardoon flowers which is a local mountain plant and is a competitive cheese to Serra.

DOP Queijo de Serpa - Made from raw sheep's milk and aged between 4 months to 2 years. Unique flavour of strong, spicy, slightly sweet-tart, and an suggestion of paprika.

DOP Queijo Serra de Estrela - Made from sheep's milk but sometimes mixed with goat's milk. Cured with Cardoon flowers which is a local mountain plant and is considered by many as the best Portuguese cheese.

DOP Queijo Terinncho - From the area of Bragança in the north-east of Portugal. Made from goat's Ring normally bold orange or brick red and a cheese which is a marriage with good wine.

Portuguese Chévre - The Portuguese have started producing some of their own similar to the French-style “Chévre and Fines Herbs". The production is mainly in the regions of Minho and the Ribatejo. The flavour is just tends to be as good as the original and sells at a lower price.

Queijo Amanteigado Vaca e Ovelha - This cheese is soft and good for spreading on bread. Better quality versions can be found in Alvelhe.

Queijo Alavão - This a light soft cheese and can be referred to a Queijo Saloio.

Queijo Amarelo - Made from a mixture of raw sheep and goat's milk with a very strong smell but mild flavour. Similar cheese is to be found from Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova and Vila Velha.

Queijo em Barra - Sold as a block of cheese.

Queijo de Cabra - This goat cheese is from the region of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro. The breed of the goat is Serrana. It is a hard cheese and is shape is cylindrical without sharp edges. The aroma is strong and of a pleasant flavour and usually offers a slightly spicy aftertaste.

Queijo Castelo Branco - This cheese is made from milk produced by either a goat or a ewe. It has a soft texture and takes 40 days to mature when made with goat's milk, and 50 days when made with ewe's milk.

Queijo Curado de Ovelha com Pimentão - Sheep's milk cheese flavoured with Bell Peppers.

Queijo Dom Pedro - Cured gourmet cheese from sheep's milk made in the village of Azeitão and is originally soft and creamy but if left to harden it gains heavily in flavour.

Queijo Flamengo - Artisanal pre-packed sliced cheese and is based on the Dutch Edam cheese. This cheese is most commonly used when making the "tosta" in a local café.

Queijo Fresco - A fresh cheese or uncured cheese made from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk. It is a basic part of many families and is often consumed as a side dish sprinkled with a little salt and pepper.

Queijo Idanha-a-Nova - A hard or semi-soft cheese made from sheep's milk and to be found in Idanha-a-Nova, Castelo Branco and Fundão town areas.

Queijo de Ilha Açoreano - The name refers to any cheese originating from the Islands of the Azores. The cheeses tend to be made from milk the ripened cheese with a buttery and spicy flavour.

Queijo Mestiço - A cured semi-hard cheese manufactures in the region of town of Tolosa.

Queijo Mistura Velho - Made from a mixture of both goat's and sheep's milk and particularly associated with the town of Idanha in the Serra da Estrella region. Very popular for its semi-soft sweetness in flavour.

Queijo Ovelha - Basically any cheese manufactures from sheep's milk.

Queijo Puro Cabra - Any cheese made from only goat's milk.

Queijo Ovelha Fornos Algodres - A quality sheep's cheese with a buttery consistency produced in the Serra da Estrela region.

Queijo Q!uinta a Avelada -

Queijo Regional Mestiço - The name is given from the small village near Coimbra, Rabaçal where it is made. It is a mix of sheep and goat’s milk and the flavour is a typical fresh or cured goat cheese with a slight tartness. Other places that produce this cheese are Anisão and Penela.

Queijo Saloio - Cheeses that include all white, uneven curd cheeses, ranging from soft to hard with most available fresh or uncured. Tend to have light flavouring.

Queijo Santo Isidro - A Chévre-like goat cheese and native to the Minho is Santo Isidro made from goat’s milk.

Queijo de Tomar - This cheese from the Ribatejo area is produced in a similar style as the Rabaçal and is sold in small hard rounds and making it one of the smallest of the Portuguese cheeses

Requeijão de Seia - In Portugal it is equivalent to ricotta or a cottage cheese. It can be made from any type of milk and is commonly eaten with something sweet "marmalada". The best region for this is Seia on the border of the Serra de Estrela.