Whoever tastes one Spanish cheese will undoubtedly fall in love with the rest. As the saying goes, “tres ges tiene el buen queso: grande, graso y grueso” (“three g’s means good cheese: big, fatty, and thick”). In Spain we have very good cheeses, many of which are certified under the Protected Designation of Origin. Spanish cheeses have an international reputation due to the tradition and personality behind them. Each locality makes them in its own way, which gives each piece a unique flavour. For example, ingredients may include sheep, goat or cow milk. There are 26 Spanish cheeses with a P.D.O., although there are others that also stand out for their taste and quality.
Spanish Cheeses with a Designation of Origin
Some autonomous communities have more than one denomination of origin, but if you want to know which cheese you can’t miss, pay attention to our selection. One of the best known products in Spain and abroad is Manchego Cheese which, as its name suggests, comes from Castilla-La Mancha. Made from sheep milk, it is a cheese with a hard consistency and a strong flavour. As for Murcia, it welcomes you with its Murcian wine cheese (Queso de Murcia). Its violet colour makes this semi-cured cheese the perfect tapa. It is prepared with wine from the regions of Jumilla, Bullas and Yecla.
If you visit Extremadura, you can’t leave without trying the Torta del Casar. There are seven cheese dairies that make this spreadable cheese with an intense aroma. In Castilla y León, we recommend that you try Zamorano Cheese, which is also very popular in Spanish cuisine.
Torta del casar cheese
It’s time for some Camerano Cheese, belonging to La Rioja. It has distinctive marks on its outside caused by the cilla, a braided wicker form in which this cheese is shaped. In Catalonia, theCheese of Alt Urgell and Cerdanyastands out, which usually weighs two and a half kilograms and surprises the mouth with its mild flavour.
Another one of the best-known Spanish P.D.O. cheeses is Roncal Cheese, produced in the Navarrese Pyrenees. It has small characteristic holes inside. From Navarre we go to the Basque Country, a community where there is no shortage of Idiazabal Cheese on the table. It is a fatty cheese with many properties and benefits for the body. In Cantabria we savour the Picón Bejes-Tresviso blue cheese, popularly known as Queso Picón, which is also known as “tres leches” (three milks) because it is made with goat, sheep and cow milk.
In Asturias, the star of the show is Cabrales Cheese, a blue cheese product with a very strong smell. Galicia stands out for its Tetilla Cheese, perfect for serving with a glass of wine. The conical shape for which it is known is the result of the funnels in which the milk curdles.
In the Canary Islands, the Queso Majorero (Majorero Cheese), made in Fuerteventura in the traditional way, shines. Its taste is somewhat spicy. And we finished our journey through some of the best Spanish P.O.D. cheeses in the Balearic Islands, where you can’t leave without tasting Mahón-Menorca Cheese, which has a firm texture and is made with cow milk.
Of course, there are other Spanish cheeses with and without a P.D.O. which are also worth a try. Because if it’s cheese… There’s never enough!