Spain

Garrotxa

Garrotxa is an aged goat cheese from the Pyrenees Mountain in the Catalonia region in Northern Spain. It is a semi-firm cheese that has a creamy texture, natural mold rind, with a light and delicate flavor with undertones of hazelnuts, thyme, and rosemary. The cheese is manufactured in small wheels that are approximately 2 lbs in size.

Country: Spain

Region: Garrotxa, Catalonia
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging time: 60 days
Pasteurized: Both versions are produced

Iberico

Iberico or Queso Iberico is a hard Spanish cheese produced in Central Spain. Its shape, size, and herringbone patterned rind most closely resembles Manchego. Iberico, however, is made from a blend of cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk.  It is aged for approximately 6 to 12 months and develops an ivory colored pate that is slightly oily. Its flavor has the components off all three types of milk and it rich, nutty, and slightly sweet. Its texture is dense and bold.

Country: Spain

Region: Central Spain
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Cow, Goat, Sheep
Aging time: 6 to 12 months
Pasteurized: Both versions are available


Idiazabal

Idiazabal is an unpasteurized, smoked sheep's milk cheese that comes from the Basque country in Spain. The milk for this cheese comes only from the Lacha breed of sheep. It is aged for two to five months and smoked for a distinct flavor. The smoking process of this cheese was discovered by chance by the Basque shepherds who stored the cheeses in their huts. During the cold months, the smoke from the fires in fireplaces circulated throughout the huts andeventually permeated the cheese, giving it a new flavor that the shepherds preferred. The cheeses manufactured are smoked with white beam, cherry wood, or oak. This Spanish cheese has a rich, buttery and nutty flavor with undertones of smoke and acid.

Country: Spain

Region: Basque Country
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: 2-5 Months
Pasteurized: No

Mahon

Mahon is a DO cows milk cheese from the island of Minorca in Spain. It is one of the few cheeses produced in Spain that uses cows milk. The milk is sourced twice a day and only between the months of September and June. Mahon is a pressed cheese that has continued to retain its original shape, square with rounded edges and a recognizable orange colored rind that darkens as it ages. Its flavor is nutty and rich with slight undertones of acid and become more complex as the cheese ages. Its pate ranges from a pale white color to a darker straw color. There are four classifications of this cheese that are determined based on its maturity:

  • Fresco - aged within 10 days
  • Semi-Curado - aged at least 2 months
  • Curado - aged 6-10 months
  • Viejo or Anejo - aged approximately 1 year

Country: Spain
Region: Minorca
Texture: Semi-Soft to firm
Aging time: 10 days to 1 year
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Majorero

Majorero is a DO  or DOP cheese from Spain that is made from goats milk. This cheese comes from Spanish island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. The milk is sourced from the Majorera goat that primarily feed on marjoram and formed into cylindrical shapes. This cheese ranges from a soft and supple pate to a more firm and dense texture. When the cheese is younger, it has a milky and goaty flavor. As it ages, the flavor becomes more assertive and nutty. This cheese must be aged for at least 8-20 days but typically the more aged versions are the only ones allowed in the United States. This cheese can come without any coating on the rind, with pimenton (a type of paprika), or with gofio (roasted corn flower).

Country: Spain
Region: Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Texture: Semi-Soft to Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: At least 20 days
Pasteurized: Both versions are made

Manchego

Manchego is Spain's most famous cheese. Manchego is a DO, sheep's milk cheese produced in the La Mancha region in Central Spain. The cheese is named after the Manchega sheep, the only variety of milk used. It is most resembled by the herringbone pattern on the rind that was originally left behind by the tough grass esparto that was used for the pressing. Now this molding is made of plastic but retains a similar pattern. The cheeses are aged in natural caves and have different stages of maturation:

  • "Fresco" - Aged 3 months with a pale ivory colored pate and a soft and fairly sweet flavor with sight salty undertones
  • "Semicurado" - Aged 4 to 6 months with a texture that is beginning to firm up and the flavor is starting to intensify
  • "Curado" - Aged more than 6 months (typically for 1 year), the cheese is now a hard cutting cheese
  • "Anejo" - Aged for 12-24 months

The typical flavor components of this cheese are milky, salty, with a sheepy sweetness towards the finish. The younger versions are much more mild with a softer texture and the more aged versions are sharper and dryer.

Country: Spain
Region: La Mancha
Texture: Semi-firm to hard
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: At least 3 months
Pasteurized: Both Pasteurized and Unpasteurized versions available

Queso de Cabra

Queso de Cabra is a pasteurized Spanish table cheese made from goat's milk. Aged for approximately 1 month, this cheese has an ivory colored pate and a semi firm texture. While it is made with goat milk, it does not have the tangy flavor characteristics that most people associate with goat cheese. Instead its flavor it more woodsy with undertones of hazelnuts and almonds. This cheese possesses a herringbone weave pattern on its orange rind which is typically associated with Spanish cheeses and more specifically Manchego. Manufactured by the Rocinante Company in Spain, it is commonly known as simply "Queso de Cabra" or "Puro de Cabra". Rocinante is one of the more popular companies in America. There are three varieties of this cheese:

  • Queso de Cabra Puro - Aged 1 Month
  • Queso de Cabra al Vino - Aged 1 Month and washed in Red Wine
  • Queso de Cabra al Romero - Aged 4 Months and covered in Rosemary

Country: Spain
Region: Castile-La Mancha
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging Time: At least 30 Days
Pasteurized: Yes

Tetilla

Tetilla cheese is a DO cows milk Spanish Cheese produced in the Galicia region of north west Spain. Its name in the local dialect is queixo de Tetilla. This cheese named after the shape it is formed in, a woman's breast. The milk used comes from the "rubia gallega" cow, a cow indigenous to the region in Spain. Its texture is creamy and somewhat elastic and its flavor is very mild with a tangy finish. Because it is a young cheese, it has flavor characteristics typical to fresh cheeses.

Country: Spain
Region: Galicia
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: 30-60 Days
Pasteurized: Yes

Zamorano

Zamorano is a name protected (DO), sheep's milk cheese from the Castile region in Spain. It is manufactured in cold and humid conditions using milk sourced from the Churra and Castellana sheep that are indigenous to the region. It is aged for at least 6 months, during which the cheeses are regularly turned and rubbed with olive oil, creating a rich and dark colored pate. It is firm in texture and its flavor is sharper and nuttier than typical Manchego cheeses. These cheeses were first created by nomadic farmers who, in a similar fashion to the production of Manchego, shaped and molded their cheeses in baskets from esparto grass, giving it a herringbone rind.

Country: Spain

Region: Castile
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Sheep
Aging Time: At least 6 months
Pasteurized: No