Serra da Estrela cheese is the oldest Portuguese cheese.
From the region of Serra da Estrela, the biggest mountain range in Portugal, it is a Protected Designation of Origin product. It is a cured, semi-soft, buttery yellow paste made from Serra da Estrela sheep milk, whose breeds (Churra Mondegueira and Bordeira), are the most valued for milk production. Its production continues to comply with all the precepts of the past.
The shepherds leave in the morning to take the animals out to graze, carefully selecting which fields they will let them graze in as the quality of the grass will affect the flavour of the milk. They return home at the end of the day and, together with their families, make the cheese in their traditional stone houses, heated by a fireplace, keeping one of Portugal’s most traditional practices alive. The cheese is then cured for 60 to 120 days, after which it is ready to be eaten. Delicious!
Just like wine, Serra da Estrela cheese should be opened 1-2 hours before it is served so that it can breathe and its taste can reach its utmost potential; it is usually served with a spoon.