All About Spanish Cheese
Spanish cheese is delicious and with 13 kinds of known to have originated in Spain, it’s easy to see why quality is a serious matter in Spain. Most people that live in Spain eat every day and each region in Spain produces several different varieties of .
has unique characteristics that are related to the type of that is used, the way the is produced, and the aging or curing process. It is also classified as light, medium, or strong. The type of and the curing or aging process determines the category the falls into. Strong and flavored cheeses tend to have a longer curing process and use either or a mixture. The lightest or mildest comes from .
The of is created through the aging process, the geographical region where the originated from, and the type of milk. Though soft cheeses are customarily made from , other cheeses use milk from sheep, goats, cows, or a combination of all three.
Storing Spanish Cheese
Before you buy any fresh or , make sure you understand how to rinse and dry it. Buying in wheels is not the same as buying a small chunk in the grocery store or a package of slices from Kraft. should be placed in a large pot with enough water to cover it. Scrub it with a small vegetable brush before removing the and drying it completely with a kitchen towel. You can freeze some kinds of as long as they are fresh or semi-cured cheeses that you have cut into pieces. You should not freeze cured cheeses.
Storing is quite easy-keep it cool and dry. Plastic wrap is a good idea, and the lower part of the refrigerator is usually best. Keep your at around 45-50 degrees for the best storage. Remember, melts easily! Although mold can be cut away from or, in some cases, eaten, aging a longer or improperly can drastically change the .
Although cows produce most of the used for , using for is still very popular in Spain. Some of the major varieties being Cassoleta, Alicante, Servilleta, and Nucia.
made from is produced in all regions of Spain. Although not as popular, they can still be quite tasty. Try types such as Zamorana, the most classic of the Spanish cheeses. Zamorano mainly comes from the Churra sheep and is produced with full cream, making it a very rich product. Other important types of made from include Manchego, Burgos, Tora del Casar, La Serena, Latxa, Roncal, Idiazabal, Tupi, Gaztazarra, Picanon, and Serrat.
Of course, some cheesemakers like to blend different kinds of to produce other flavors in their cheeses. is usually the base ingredient, and the basic rule of making is that more will make a simpler while more will make a more complex . is typically seen as “better,” and will make a creamier and more expensive. The most well-known of the from Spain is Iberico, but Mesta and Hispanico are also very popular.
Buying Spanish Cheese
There are many different websites that sell test. If you’ve never tried , you may want to obtain some samples before you buy a large amount and find that you don’t like it., but the one downfall of buying online is that you can’t
Cooking with Spanish Cheese
When you’re trying new recipes, it’s also nice to experiment with . If the recipe calls for one type of , try a different one for a new take on the old . This is especially helpful if you find a that you really don’t like-instead of not making the recipe at all, try it with a you do like instead. When substituting cheeses, look for cheeses that have some of the same qualities, especially in melting. Cooking isn’t a science like you’ll find with baking, but how the melts into a dish can still have a drastic effect on the final outcome. You may need to adjust your baking time to accommodate.
is definitely an important part of meals in Spain as it is in many other countries. With all of the regions and different climates, there is a huge variety of flavors from which to choose. Even within the flavors-from mid to strong-you will find many other flavors that are the result of aging, type of , or regional differences. Now go grab a glass of and some . Enjoy!