Thursday, November 05, 2009

PDO cheeses, a national pride

PDO cheeses, a national pride

I’ve written a post about Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese, to which I referred only to those which have that EU certification. This time, I found another list of this variety of cheese with their respective and summarized description, and thought about sharing it with you. Perhaps you will find it interesting enough to go and try it out for yourselves.

Mountain cheese (PDO) – one of the most famous, buttered cheese made from sheep’s milk.

Azeitão cheese (PDO) – it is produced from sheep’s milk, in the area of Arrábida that assures perfect conditions for the production of this cheese. It is produced in Sesimbra, Palmela and Setúbal.

Nisa cheese (PDO) – produced in the lands of north Alentejo, from sheep’s milk. It is half hard and a total of 8 different counties are responsible and accredited to produce it.

Beira Baixa’s spicy cheese (PDO) – with a strong spicy flavour, it is made out of sheep or goat’s milk, sometimes mixing both varieties.
Pico cheese (PDO) – it uses cow’s milk, and is produced in the Island of Pico, Azores.

Terrincho cheese (PDO) – produced from Churra da Terra Quente race of sheep. The natural feeding of these herds allows for a higher quality cheese to be produced in the Douro Valley region.

Transmontano Goat’s cheese (PDO) – produced in several counties of the district of Bragança and Vila Real, in Portugal’s north eastern region.

Évora cheese (PDO) – produced in Alentejo, it is characterized by a slight spicy flavour and for darkening as it gets in contact with oxygen.

St. Jorge cheese (PDO) – also produced in the Azores (see Pico cheese), it differentiates itself for being exclusively produced in the Island of St. Jorge, out of cow’s milk and presenting itself with a firm consistence.

Mestizo of Tolosa cheese (PDO) – Portalegre is the district where this cheese is produced. The name derives from the mixing of two different types of cheese.

Rabaçal cheese (PDO) – it is produced throughout the whole middle regions of Portugal. It combines both sheep and goat’s milk, herded around the mountain range of Sicó.


I am nevertheless very confused about the list I presented in the previous post for it does not match the aforementioned. Thus I am not aware of how many PDO cheese varieties are under Portugal’s banner or certificate protected. If any one would be so kind as to indicate a clear and official source of confirmation, I’d be very grateful. However, researching this topic only made me buy the famous book Queijos Portugueses (Portuguese cheese), by Maria de Lourdes Modesto and Manuela Barbosa.


I also cannot forget the fact that Nisa cheese is mentioned in the top100 list of the best world cheeses, a list compiled by the american magazine “Wine Spectator”, for the year of 2008. My personal congratulations to all that are directly or indirectly related to the production of this fine cheese, as well as to those who help spread the word for its outstanding quality. For more information, please visit: Sabor Além Fronteiras from the Chefes de Cozinha’s website).

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