The goat's and sheep's cheeses are more than a speciality amongst the region's livestock farmers.

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  2. The cheeses of Extremadura

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The goat's and sheep's cheeses are more than a speciality amongst the region's livestock farmers.

According to legend, after milking his sheep and drinking milk from a bowl, a shepherd lay down in the shade of a tree and dropped off to sleep. When he woke up, he went to pick up the bowl and found that some flowers had fallen into it, and what was inside was no longer liquid, but had turned into a paste. He tasted it, and found it to be exquisite. And this was how the Torta del Casar came into being, one of the three cheeses with Denomination of Origin in Extremadura.

Try this jewel of Extremadura's gastronomy. One tip - if you let the cheese warm up to room temperature, its texture, aroma and flavour will increase. And remember, the Torta del Casar is not eaten in pieces, it is spread onto a piece of bread. Quite simply irresistible. And accompanied by a good regional wine, it is indescribable!

The main element of this miracle that turns the milk into cheese is the common thistle, the pistils of which curdle and set the raw sheep's milk used to make this kind of cheese when mixed with it. A Denomination of Origin covering towns in the Llanos de Cáceres, Sierra de las Fuentes and Montánchez districts.

Another sheep's milk caprice is the cheese of La Serena, which also has Denomination of Origin. These cheeses are made following unique traditions, using raw merino sheep's milk which coagulates with the plant rennet from the common thistle mentioned earlier. By way of a curiosity, it is interesting to point out that it takes the milk of fifteen sheep to make one kilo of this cheese.

Extremadura's third D.O. cheese is made using milk from the Verata, Retinta and Serrana goat varieties. It is the famous Ibores cheese, produced in the Los Ibores district, but also in Las Villuercas, La Jara and Trujillo. These cheeses are usually presented with paprika from de La Vera or covered in oil.

But as well as these three cheeses, there are many more kinds that contain the essence of every single nook and cranny of Extremadura: the quesaíllas of La Raya, made in the districts of Alburquerque and Olivenza; the logs of soft goat's cheese or round goat's cheeses of La Vera.


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