Those of you who know me will understand just how much I love cheese. Seriously when I was a kid I snuck cheese in literally every meal. Cheesecakes were always my birthday cake of choice (ice cream cake sucks anyway) and I would get blocks of the stuff for my birthday.
I knew I´d be hitting the queso jackpot when I moved to Europe and I´m pretty pumped to share with you the different types of cheese produced here in Galicia, Spain which is where I get to call home for the next seven months. I went to one of the best cheese shops in Santiago de Compostela to ask questions, learn more information, and even taste some of this exceptional cheeses from this area! Time to get cheesy…
Aged: 1-5 days
This cheese coming from Lugo, Galicia is just as hard to say as it is to keep a straight face when you try it. It has a REALLY strong and acidic characteristic that might be too strong for some people. The shape of Cebreiro is an unforgetable mushroom/chef hat shape with a yellowish white exterior. It is produced using cows milk but has the intensity of goats milk. Some manufacturers actually include goat´s milk in the product which makes the cheese even more flavorful. Cebreiro is soft and creamy with just a little bit of grittiness but goes perfect with some honey and walnuts on crackers. Expect to pay around 6,50 euros for 500 grams of the stuff.
Aged: 7-15 days
Oh you guys will get a kick out of this one. Tetilla is pretty well known around Galicia and its name will without a doubt make you remember. Tetilla means ¨little tit¨ in Spanish and I mean yeah..it kind of does look like….Anyway this type of queso is super mild with not a lot of salt or acidity and soft notes of butter produced using cows milk. I really liked this one when I tried it in the queixeria (cheese shop in Galicia). Unlike Cebreiro, this type of cheese is produced all over Galicia. Sometimes Tetilla is used as a dessert cheese but who are they kidding I´d eat this probably for every meal. Typical. Also I´ve been told that this particular cheese goes well with mostly every wine and fruit. YUM! This one will set you back 6,90 euros for 500 grams.
San Simon da Costa
Aged: 45 days
This one looks identical to Tetilla..well just the shape actually. It´s got a more rounded top and the color is darker due to the smoking process it goes through. Obviously it has a smoky flavor because of this which I´m not too particularly keen on but hey if that´s your kind of thing this cheese is perfect for you. Apparently San Simon won two awards at the 2012 World Cheese Awards so insert the clapping hands emoji (hang on there´s a World Cheese Awards!?!? You´ve got to brie kidding me). This variety is also made using cow´s milk. It´s a little harder than the other cheeses in this area, fatty, and really dense. It pairs really well with red wine and is produced all around the province of Lugo. I forgot to jot down how much this goes for but I think it was a lot more expensive than the other varieties here in Galicia.
Arzúa-Ulloa (Queso Patelo)
Aged: 7-15 days
The last type of cheese hailing from Galicia is Arzúa-Ulloa which is nicknamed ¨cheese of the country¨ has a flavor very simillar to Tetilla but it in a more traditional rounded shape. This variety, like all the others, is made using cow´s milk. Seriously if you lived or visited Galicia you´d understand why all the types of cheeses are made from cows. Kind of like Minnesota except the animals actually look happy here. Anyway Arzúa-Ulloa is usually produced in the central area of Galicia and it´s actually it has the highest production of cheese varieties of the four. Pretty neat. It has a fresh, creamy, lightly salty taste with a slight touch of acidity and pairs awesome with baked potatoes, on a pizza, and bread. <BRB going to buy some to top my oven roasted potatoes for dinner tonight> I´m not sharing though..it´s nacho cheese. Arzúa-Ulloa will cost you about 6,95 per 500 grams.
I should really find a career in cheese tasting. I don´t think I´d be that in depth about my reviews though. I´d probably just say ¨yep this is pretty fricken great¨ and eat the whole block. Seriously though if you are a cheese lover like me you should try all these cheeses out if you can get your hands on them and if you are in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain go to Queixerias Prestes. The lovely ladies inside will show you all of these varieties plus dozens more they have from all over the world. They are located on Rúa da Caldeireria, 25 which is only a short walk from the uber famous cathedral. Let me know if you try any which you should because they will make you feel grate.
Haha I couldn´t help myself with some cheese puns here. Let me know if you spotted any in the comments below! Hope you all have an awesome day.