The ten best Spanish sheep cheeses

Published : 07/21/2017 20:21:07
Categories : Quesos Rss feed

In this article we review our 10 favorite sheep cheeses. Of course we would like to extend this list to 20 or maybe 30 or more ... .. But we will try to specify and select those 10 sheep cheeses that we consider essential. They are not listed by preference, that, we leave to you:

Artesano de Sáez: an artisan cheese far from the usual commercial circuits. From Monte Dobra, north of Cantabria, the Sáez brothers artistically produce raw milk cheeses from their own livestock. Its production is not large and its distribution is local which makes these products are exclusive outside Cantabria. Another aspect that makes them unique and exclusive is the healing time that rises to 2 years. In Spain few cheeses have that cure. This level of ripeness marks the flavor of this cheese. A cheese with a pronounced, powerful and spicy flavor with hazelnut soups.

sheep cheese

Emborrado gaditano: emborrado is a typical production process of Cadiz that is characterized by curing the cheese with butter or oil and wheat bran. This process creates a delicious crust that complements the excellent quality of the sheep milk grazalemeña with which the dairy company El Bosqueño produces this delicious variety.


Gran Paladar: an artisan sheep cheese that is produced artisanally with raw milk from sheep. It is an aged cheese that matures for 18 to 24 months. It has the strong flavor of an old cheese. This cheese is one of the great cheeses produced by the Quesería Francisco Morán and Hijos. A cheese shop located in the town of Carbajo, Cáceres and specialized in the production and maturation of artisan cheeses from Cabra and Oveja. This family business has already more than a century of tradition where they have demonstrated the quality of their products and their good work. Their products are always made following the traditional methods with a selection of raw materials of the highest quality.

Gran Paladar

Idiazábal: Idiazábal cheese is produced with raw milk from Latxas sheep in the Basque Country and Navarre. It is produced in its natural form and in the best known smoked. It is called Pastor if the producer produces it with the milk of his own cattle. Its flavor is mature sheep's milk, slightly spicy and salty where you can taste the natural smoked. Its aftertaste is persistent and pronounced.


Manchego: its most appreciated version is the artisan. Manchego artisan cheese is made in a traditional way with raw milk from Manchego sheep grazing in the fields of La Mancha. It has an intense and pleasant flavor. One of the great exponents of this cheese is the cheese factory "Ojos del Guadiana" born in Daimiel in 1998, fruit of the desire of the producers to promote, the extensive cattle ranch, the native sheep breed and the Manchego cheese. In this way a group of farmers joined to produce the best Manchego cheese. Manchego


Pata de Mulo: Pata de Mulo cheese from the Quesería Los Payuelos, also known as Villalón cheese, is a special artisan cheese with a different flavor, delicious and slightly spicy. This cheese of Pata de Mulo is cured from 6 months to a year in the natural cave of the dairy and fruit of it presents a natural mold in its crust. It is made with raw sheep's milk which gives it an extra flavor and has a very limited production. He got the gold in the edition of the World Cheese Awards 2013.

Pata de Mulo

Payoyo: Whole sheep's milk cheese from the famous gadory Payoyo dairy. The flavor of this cheese is intense, very soft and creamy to the palate. The Payoyo artisanal dairy was created in 1995. Since its inception, they have made their cheese with the milk produced by the farmers of their natural region, the Serranías de Cádiz and Ronda, and more specifically three natural parks: Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Los Alcornocales Natural Park and Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park, in the Serranía de Ronda, serving as a stimulus for the cheesemaking for the maintenance of the different breeds, some in danger of extinction.

The purpose of the cheese factory Payoyo is to recover the traditional cheeses of its region, with cheeses of Cabra Payoya, Oveja Grazalemeña and the mixture of Goat and Sheep.


Roncal: The Roncal is a cheese that is elaborated artisanally based on crude milk of sheep. The Protected Denomination of Origin guarantees a cheese produced only in the municipalities of the Roncal Valley, Navarra, with the traditional techniques of this area. The final result is a cured, fatty cheese, with a very defined and intense flavor in sheep's milk, and very buttery to the palate. It is a hard, thick, straw-colored bark cheese covered with a white bone paste, with many very small irregular cavities, somewhat rugose, dry and non-elastic.

In its flavor, persistence and high intensity, it is completely identified matured sheep's milk, it is low acid, and the aroma when chewing it can remember nuts, pineapple or sidra.


Torta del Casar: a cheese considered as one of the best Cheeses of the world, manufactured in an artisan way with a great flavor and an incomparable quality. With its liquid texture and intense flavor it is perfect for spreading, opening for it its superior crust. Cataloged as one of the best cheeses in the world, the Casar cake has a manufacturing process that remains the same as the one used ancestrally. A cheese of raw milk of sheep of the merino race that gives a special flavor to which it is added curd of thistle and salt. It possesses lactic and vegetal aromas with an intense and characteristic taste being highly fluxing to the palate. This artisan cheese is produced in Cáceres, within the regions of Llanos de Cáceres, Sierra de Fuentes and Montánchez. It is an area with special climatic qualities that provoke the appearance of many herbaceous plants of great nutritive value for the sheep, as well as shrubs, oaks and cork oaks. For many years the Torta del Casar was considered as an error of the ripening process. Shepherds wanting to produce compact cheeses were surprised that some of them did not get the desired consistency and were almost liquid. Considering this a mistake they reserved these cheeses for their own consumption and not to trade with them. This changed when some of them began to trade with them and discovered their high acceptance. The reason that some cheeses were different to others when they matured in the same places were the different temperature and humidity conditions that affected each of them.


Zamorano: artisanal cheese made from raw sheep's milk. The old version of the Diary Vicente Pastor has a minimum maturation time of the cheese is 16 months in optimal environmental conditions to achieve an unsurpassed quality. The result is an old cheese, with very intense flavor and aromas that are exceptional to the palate. Its careful elaboration and later maturation rewards this cheese with a correct evolution of flavors and pronounced aromas throughout the more than 16 months of refining. Extraordinary characteristic nuances of raw sheep's milk obtained from traditionally shepherded herds. Its natural crust with mold bloom gives the cheese its distinctive character. Zamorano cheese is a cheese protected by D.O whose tradition and history date its production of the Bronze Age.


These are our essential, what are yours? Yum yum

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