All about portuguese cheeses > São Jorge
São Jorge is a cheese from an island of the same name, located 900 miles from the west coast of Portugal and part of Azores archipelago. Made from raw cow’s milk, São Jorge is a robust, aged cheese ripened for between three and seven months before being sold in the market. Although the cheese is made by three dairies on the island, only one has received the special DOP status. The DOP cheese is matured for a minimum of 90 days but the wheels can be sold at different ages; three, four or seven months.
São Jorge has a firm, slightly waxy texture that envelops an open, straw-coloured paste. Flavours are mild, full and buttery with tangy, spicy undernotes.
Apart from certain so-called Flamengo cheeses, a kind of fake Edam mentioned in the introduction, the only true Portuguese cheese made exclusively from cow's milk is Sao Jorge, the name of another island in the Azores, where it originated.
Also known as "Queijo da ilha" (island cheese), Sào Jorge is the largest of Portuguese cheeses. It weighs up to 7 kg, with a crumbly straw-colored hard curd, with a flavor both mild and bitter, becoming stronger as it ages. Sào Jorge is certainly the most tangible legacy in gastronomic terms of the first Flemish colonists who settled in the archipelago at the request of Henry the Navigator in the 15th century.
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