Portugal is a country with a huge tradition in the production of cheese, from the stronger or softer, goat, cow or sheep ... can be eaten simply, bread, jam, honey and taste with a good wine. The king of Portuguese cheeses is undoubtedly the Serra da Estrela cheese. But it is not the only one. Throughout the country there are immense examples of quality cheese production. From north to south and on the islands, learn how pairing and taste the perfect combinations for some of the best Portuguese cheeses.
We selected some of the most appreciated cheeses from Portugal, from various regions and internationally awarded, PDO or IGP, Sheep Cheese from “Serra da Estrela” (PDO), Sheep Cheese from “Azeitão” (PDO), Sheep Cheese from “Serpa” (PDO) “Transmontano” Goat Cheese (PDO), Cow Cheese from the Island of “S. Jorge – Azores” (PDO), Fresh Cheese from “Castelo Branco” or the traditional Sheep's Cottage or Goat from “Beira Baixa” (PDO).
Let's take a trip through the various regions of Portugal and know what we do best and we have to taste.
Serra de Estrela Cheese (PDO)
Serra da Estrela DOP cheese comes from the mountains of the same mountain and is appreciated for its aroma and strong flavour, which is why it is nicknamed "the king of Portuguese cheeses". Produced exclusively from the milk of Bordeleira Serra da Estrela sheep, its manufacture is entirely handmade and part of the hands of Portuguese cheesemakers. Its intense smell and soft and slightly acidic palate is already a tradition in Portuguese houses. Savor it with fresh bread and nice local wine. It is so creamy that it sometimes melts in the spoon and is perfect to spread on bread, toast, Portuguese corn bread.
You can create a perfect combination with this cheese with a topping of Pumpkin and Orange Jam with Rosemary and Eucalyptus Honey, Cinnamon and Almond or Fig and Orange Extra Jam with Cinnamon or even Orange Blossom Honey with Chilli.
This due to its structure, greasiness and fat, requires wines with some structure so that it can contrast with its protein. Thus, we suggest a 30 year old Port Wine, tawnies, Madeira Wine Reserve and Carcavelos Wine. You can also bet on white wines, silky, balanced with texture and still on the old whites, those of the region of Bairrada and Dão can be good companions for this type of cheese..
Serve in the cheese on top of a toast and with a topping of Pumpkin and Orange Jam with Rosemary and Eucalyptus Honey, Cinnamon and Almond.
Azeitão cheese (PDO)
Azeitão cheese (PDO) is a gourmet cheese of high quality, made from artisan to an audience. Origin of the region of Azeitão is produced in Setúbal, Palmela and Sesimbra. Azeitão PDO cheese is obtained from raw sheep's milk. It is a cheese cured (minimum 20 days), semi-soft and buttery paste, white or slightly yellow. It has a spicy flavor and is both acidic and salty. Due to its greasiness it needs to be harmonized with warm flavors and wines with some acidity such as Pumpkin and Orange Jam with Rosemary and Eucalyptus Honey, Cinnamon and Almond or Blueberry Extra Jam with Vanilla and Port Wine.
To accompany this type of cheese we must give priority to young white wines, acid and refreshing or to fresh, fruity and elegant rosés. However, if you want a slightly more fearless combination, opt for a young sparkling wine.
How to serve: If you have stored the Azeitão Cheese in the cold, you should remove it and keep it at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before serving it, in order to resume its characteristic aroma and flavor. The cut should be done in half and in two equal parts, and then served in small slices.
Occasion: It serves as the original entrance or for a snack between friends, also constituting an excellent end to a more exquisite menu being part of a Table of Portuguese cheeses.
Saint Jorge Island Cheese (PDO)
It is a cheese produced exclusively on the island of São Jorge, Azores, the Demarcated Region. Thw Saint Jorge Island Cheese from Azores (PDO) is obtained from raw cow's milk. It is a cured cheese, hard or semi-hard paste and yellowish color. Taste clean, slightly spicy and strong aroma. The three-month cheese is spicy enough, but you can eat it from morning till night. It is not creamy, rather pleasantly dry, but it lacks the austerity of the older cheeses. The minimum maturation time is three months: about 30 days of natural maturation and 60 days in climatically controlled cellars. You can select it for aperitif, before dessert on a cheese board or add to the dishes that carry cheese, its intense flavor will turn your dishes into delicious gourmet meals.
You can create a perfect combination with this cheese by topping it with Fundão Cherry Extra Jam with Brandy or Raspberry and Lime Extra Jam with Mint or Rosemary Honey with Apple and Cinnamon.
As this is a cheese with accentuated flavors, we must harmonize it with balanced wines, with good bets being aromatic whites, fresh and enveloping or liqueurs with sugar content present.
Cheese from Serpa (PDO)
The Cheese from Serpa (PDO) is Portuguese cheese from the Alentejo region of Serpa. Serpa DOP cheese is a cured, buttery and delicate cheese. The healing time is 30 days.
You can create a perfect combination with this cheese make the harmonization with a topping of ‘Bravo de Esmolfe’ Apple Extra Jam with Cinnamon or Orange Blossom Honey with Chilli.
“Transmontano” Goat Cheese (PDO)
The Goat Cheese Transmontano PDO is obtained from raw goat's milk, of Serrana breed. It is a cured cheese, of extra-hard paste of uniform white colour. The particularities of Goat cheese Transmontano PDO are due to their artisanal production and little modified over the years and also to the characteristics of the milk used. It has a pleasant and intense aroma, and a slightly spicy clean taste.
You can create a perfect combination with this cheese make the harmonization with topping of Fig and Orange Extra Jam with Port Wine ou Blueberry Extra Jam with Vanilla and Port Wine.
Beira Baixa Cottage Cheese (PDO)
Beira Baixa Cottage Cheese (PDO) is the product resulting from the precipitation or heat coagulation of lacto-albumin and lacto-globulin contained in the serum resulting from the manufacture of Beira Baixa Cheese (Castelo Branco Cheese, Beira Baixa Yellow Cheese, Spicy Cheese of Beira Baixa) PDO. It is presented as a fresh product, which has not undergone any fermentation with a more or less pasty soft consistency.
You can combine in it with Pumpkin and Orange Jam with Rosemary and Eucalyptus Honey, Cinnamon and Almond; Pumpkin and Orange Jam with Rosemary and Eucalyptus Honey, Cinnamon and Port Wine, mixed well the jam and cheese and use to spread a rye bread or thin toast.
To create your Portuguese cheeses board, use 2 to 3 varieties of cheeses, rye bread or corn curd and harmonize with our selection of 3 genuinely Portuguese PACK 3 IDEAL FOR CHEESE.
Use as an appetizer or appetizer of a meal, an afternoon snack with friends and accompany with good wine.