Food & Wine

Serra da Estrela Cheese

Edition 40 — 20.12.2021 • 26.12.2021
Serra da Estrela cheese

The king of Portuguese cheeses is a must at the Christmas table in Portugal.

Its reputation dates back to the 14th century, for the cheese produced in Serra da Estrela was often sent as a gift for the Royal families, especially during Christmas time. This exquisite product is simply perfect for those endless family meals, as well as perfect match for noble Dão wines.

The vast size of Serra da Estrela’s pastures as well as its rich natural resources have made it an excellent place for pastoral farming where traditions and living experiences related to this activity have been established throughout the centuries. It was within this environment that mountain populations created the oldest and most recognized Portuguese cheese. With a buttery or dry dough, yellow colour and intense flavour, Serra da Estrela cheese is made exclusively with milk from Bordaleira breed sheep, and puts all the generosity of Serra da Estrela on the table. Ancient techniques and rituals used in the making of this cheese are still unaltered, providing it with a rich touch that will make you remember its taste.

The art of cheese

What stands out about this protected cheese is the way in which its curd is made: handmade with a cardoon flower by the wise hands of men and women between November and May. The long maturing process, during which time and care from the cheese makers turn the rich dough created from the milk curd into a certified cheese, proves that patience and knowledge are strong alleys of taste.

The History of Serra da Estrela cheese, which has been recorded since the 16th century, is closely connected with the History of mountain towns, shepherds and mountain life. Nowadays its official production area includes the municipalities of Celorico da Beira, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Manteigas, Oliveira do Hospital, Seia and some towns belonging to the Covilhã, Guarda and Trancoso municipalities.

Don’t miss the chance to taste this excellent cheese which blends the rustic flavour of tradition with the refinement of sweet acidity and remains in your taste. Pair it with rye bread and good local wine. Be seduced by the flavours of the mountain.

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