The designation of origin Arzúa – Ulloa cheese is a cheese made from natural, whole, raw and pasteurised cow’s milk from the Galician blonde, Friesian and brown-alpine breeds and their crosses. The production process includes the phases of coagulation, cutting and washing of the curd, moulding, pressing, salting and maturing.
There are three types of cheese in this designation:
Arzúa-Ulloa: soft cheese with at least a six-day ripening period. It has a cylindrical shape with rounded edges, a thin and elastic rind of a smooth, dark yellow colour, which may have a transparent anti-mildew cover. The characteristic of this cheese is that its height cannot be greater than the radius. The paste is raw white to light yellow in colour, shiny and without cracks, although small holes may appear unevenly. It reminds of the smell of butter and yoghurt, with hints of vanilla and walnut. Its taste is low in acidity and slightly salty, reminiscent of milk. In the mouth it is firm and melts.
Arzúa-Ulloa de granja: the same as the previous one, except that all the cows come from the farm that makes the cheese.
Arzúa-Ulloa curado: in this case the ripening period is at least six months, its shape is cylindrical, and sometimes the upper face is concave. The rind does not appear well differentiated, with a very intense yellow colour and a greasy appearance. The paste is intense yellow and lighter in the central area, very compact and with few holes. It has a very intense aroma, of rancid butter, with a spicy sensation. The taste of butter is salty with a touch of spice and notes of nuts. The dry edges make it difficult to cut this cheese.
Livestock farming in Galicia has been a very important practice for centuries, there are historical references dating back to Greek times, the Greek historian Polybius (204-122 BC) talks about the importance of livestock farming in this area of the peninsula. Cheese was the product that Galician farmers made from surplus milk that was not consumed or sold directly. The “Spanish Inventory of Traditional Products”, published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1996, contains a description of Arzúa cheese, its production, uses, etc. Other publications, such as the ‘Catalogue of Spanish Cheeses’ of 1973 or ‘Alimentos de España. Denominations of Origin and Quality”, from 1993, there are references to this cheese.
The production area of the Arzúa – Ulloa Cheese comprises the eastern part of the province of La Coruña and the south-western part of Lugo, so that the defined area is in the centre of Galicia. This geographical area has an ideal climate for the growth of top quality pastures; which makes the milk have the optimum characteristics for the production of these cheeses.
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