Portuguese Cheeses are top quality products that you will find in Portugal. The country has a wide variety of artisan cheeses produced in very different locations from North to South, islands included.
Its common to speak about French or Italian cheeses. All excellent products, but you also need to know that the Yellow Cheese from Beira Baixa DOP “Sabores de Idanha” (Portuguese ) won the Gold Award on the World Cheese Awards in 2011. The competition joined more than 2500 brand cheeses from different countries in a blind tasting .
Portuguese cheeses are not so famous due to lower marketing strategy and low presence on the international competitions. However, the Portuguese increased the quality along years, presence in different competitions and seems more focus on the last 3 years on sales channels and promotion.
Portugal has an amazing and rich tradition of cheese-making. We have several regions and the product made his step by step along with the Portuguese wines . Winemakers and Cheese makers tried to create products that will be able to communicate together, specially with cheese and wines pairings.
You will find in Portugal several experiences based on cheese and wines tastings. At Cook & Corks we have created Wines & Olive Oil Experience, where cheese has also a presence on the experience.
Types of Portuguese Cheeses
Portugal also developed the protection of their cheeses products. The certification of quality goes into geographical areas called DOP . DOP means Denominação de Origem Protegida ( Origin Protected Denomination ).
Portuguese cheeses with DOP designations
The following Portuguese cheeses have Denominação de Origem Protegida (DOP) and they have an excellent quality:
- Queijo de Cabra Transmontano
- São Jorge
- Serra da Estrela
Our favorites Portuguese cheeses :
Azeitão Cheese is has a unique taste, a great “personality” . Creamy cheese, is made from raw sheep´s milk in the town of Azeitão. This town is located in the South of Lisbon and its also know by a local sweet called Tortas de Azeitão ( Azeitão Rolls ) and its the location of famous winemakers Bacalhoa and José Maria da Fonseca.
Azeitão cheese is made with thistle flowers, instead animal rennet. A beautiful aroma and the perfect way to eat it is to cut on the top, grab a spoon or knife, than put on a slice of bread or crusty bread.
Serra da Estrela Cheese
Serra da Estrela Cheese is common to listen as the King of Portuguese Cheeses. This cheese is the most Portuguese famous one and its made on Serra da Estrela Area.
Serra da Estrela is located in the centre of Portugal and has the highest peak on the Continental part with 2000 meters high.
Along centuries, has been made by shepherds with a fantastic consistency and excellent flavor.