Serra da Estrela
Serra da Estrela

Flavors of Portugal

All about portuguese cheeses > Serra da Estrela

It is the oldest of the most famous Portuguese cheeses in the world. It was present at the royal tables and was even evoked by Gil Vicente in the 19th century. 

Serra da Estrela serves as pasture for the sheep of the Serra da Estrela or Churra Mondegueira breeds, which are considered to have the best dairy aptitude. For the cheese to reach the desired quality must always be made the same milking. Nowadays cheese making and its ritual are done in a traditional way, like hundreds of years ago.

Produced in the "Serra da Estrela" region, exclusively from sheep's milk curdled by infusing cardoon flowers in it, or better yet, the stomach acid of suckling lambs. This is a soft cylindrical cheese with slightly bulging sides, weighing 1-2 kg, 25 cm in diameter and 5-7 cm high. The rind is straw colored.

It is available in two stages of ripeness, that correspond to two kinds of texture:

> Amanteigado
Literally "like butter," that is, smooth, runny and unctuous, often tied with a cloth to hold the curd in. Delicate flavor and aroma. Its production is limited to a few months of the fall and winter.

- Curado
Literally "ripened," with a hard rind and crumbly curd and more aassertive flavor and aroma.

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