I’ve recently been putting my bib in in Twitter responding to a promotion of Manchego cheese (made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep). I came late to worship at the rind of this sheep and am now a devotee. Occasionally I ban cheese from the refrigerator as I have no self control when a variety of this milky magic sits on a fridge shelf and beckons me. But I’ve been hooked again and am working my way through other Spanish cheeses. The following article I posted back in the day (2017) extols the beauty and taste of a cheese I’ve never found in Oz. All I have is the memory . . . Enjoy.
Not one to generalise, but to me Spain is a pretty macho country. So to meet a revered (and by her male colleagues) female cheese maker was not only a delight but extremely (extrema) educational. After a long lunch that almost overlapped dinner in Trujillo, one of the medieval towns of the Extremadura region, we took a gentle, digestive stroll around the square then to bed to dream of more jamon! We hadn’t reached the realm of cheese yet. So, on to a cheese factory next day that was a filling, fun, fulfilling experience. We are heading to the World Heritage city, Caceres, and making a pre emptive strike for cheese beforehand at Casar de Caceres to watch the process of making a local, legendary cheese called Torta del Casar. Because of import laws in Australia we can’t get this raw milk cheese to eat! So here we were ready to see how this slice of heaven is made and by whom.
Only two brands of this cheese is made in Spain. Happy sheep send their milk here and the 72 hour process of turning milk into a raw milk, unpasturised cheese begins – and it’s all down to step-by-step tradition, a clean and perfectly timed process and all at the hand of the master (mistress) cheesemaker – Narcisia Municio. Narcisia (pictured above) is a rarity in the business and one of a handful of female cheesemakers. And what cheese she makes.
We tried the end product and if a little tear of pleasure was spilt – I’m not ashamed.
Blessed are the cheesemakers . . .
Getting there: Emirates from Sydney to Dubai and on to Madrid.
In Madrid – visit: www.villamagna.es
The writer was guest of www.visitspain.com
For information on hotels, restaurants, attractions please visit: www.turismoextremadura.com