Transmontano Goat’s Cheese

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Transmontano Goat’s Cheese

Queijo de Cabra Transmontano is made with raw milk from the Cabra Serrana goat breed, animal rennet and salt. It is aged for a minimum of 60 days, during which the cheeses are turned and washed multiple times. Cheeses aged for longer periods are denoted with the adjective Velho, meaning ‘old.’ The rinds of the cheeses are white, though sometimes the Velho cheeses are rubbed with olive oil and paprika, giving them a red color externally. The cheese is semi-hard to extra hard in consistency. The paste is compact, with some eyes and a uniform white color. Individual cheeses come in two sizes, cylinders of 6-12 cm in diameter and of 12-19 cm in diameter, with a height of 3-6 cm, and weight between 300-600 g for the small forms, and 600-900 g for large forms. The local Serrana goats are raised following traditional methods and a natural diet, grazing on wild plants found in pastures, and in particular on the shoots and leaves of some trees and shrub-like plants such as broom and heather. Their diet helps give the aged cheese a characteristic aroma and flavor. The most productive period for their milk generally occurs between March and August. During the rest of the year, the production is reduced. Queijo de Cabra Transmontano has been produced in northeastern Portugal since time immemorial, and has a fundamental role in the diet of the people in the plateau region of Tras-os-Montes, with producers spread throughout the districts of Bragança and Vila Real. The cheese can be found for sale in the area, as well as at specialty shops in larger cities such as Porto and Lisbon. Notwithstanding the PDO certification that has helped maintain the purity and quantity of the Serrana goat breed, because of a large population decline in this area in recent decades and a movement away from pastoralism and cheesemaking by younger generations, this high quality cheesemaking tradition is at risk of being lost.

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Territory

StatePortugal
Region

Bragança

Vila Real

Other info

Categories

Milk and milk products