Flavors of Spain - Spanish Cheese

Spanish Cheese

Background: History of Spanish Cheesemaking

Archaeologists believe a sheep milk cheese similar to Manchego was being made on the Iberian peninsula well before the Romans colonized the region, and monks then perfected the region’s cheesemaking traditions after the Empire fell. Whatever knowledge the monks accumulated, shepherds then disseminated on their yearly peregrinations. These traditions evolved through the Middle Ages, with each region developing its own unique turography. Sheep cheeses dominated the country’s rugged middle, Blue cheeses were born in the damp caves of the northwest, and runny tortas clotted with cardoon rennet dotted the Extremaduran border with Portugal. In the far climes of the Pyrenees, the fecund Basque Country gained steam.

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