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IAN & SPAIN

WELCOME TO MY BLOG. HAVING LIVED IN SPAIN FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS I HAVE TRULY MANAGED TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE LOCAL CULTURE AND FEEL TOTALLY INTEGRATED. I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT MY PASSION FOR SPANISH FOOD AND DRINK AS WELL AS ITS CULTURE, PEOPLE AND PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

If you haven't tried this cheese, you must!
31 December 2019 @ 12:14

Spain is one of the countries in the world where better quality cheese is produced. The World Cheese Awards last year were held in Bergen (Norway) and more than 3,400 cheeses from 41 different countries participated with Spain managing to place two cheeses among the Top 15 in the world. If I am not mistaken this year they have had similar results.

However, You may think that this wasn't that special but I want to bring to light 13th place which was taken by a new contender and one of the great surprises of the contest since it is an extremely accessible product that is marketed exclusively in Spain through one of the most popular supermarket chains, Mercadona.

A wedge of 390 grams of this cheese, which in Mercadona can be found as "Entrepinares Viejo Tostado", can be purchased for around 3.98 euros. The kilo comes in at 10.20 euros. Unfortunately, when you go to the cheese section you will often find it empty since it literally flies off the shelf as soon as it is restocked. Whenever I see some I always grab a few as I know I may not see it for a few weeks because supply is rather limited due to its extended ripening period - I guess I am not the only one doing this!

This cheese, classified as "old toasted", has been made from the mixture of pasteurized cow, sheep and goat's milk. So, what characteristics does a cheese have to meet to be labelled as "old" (viejo)?

The cheeses that we usually find in the supermarket can be classified in many different ways: by the type of milk used (cow, sheep, goat or mixture), by its fat content (fatty, semi-fat, skimmed, etc.), by the milk treatment (raw, microfiltered, heated ...) and even by the producer who makes them. However, the most common is to find the cheese classified according to the ripening time. The six most common categories are fresh, tender, semi-cured, cured, old and aged. The old toasted Mercadona cheese, according to its name, is a cheese that goes a little further than the cured cheese and has been matured for more than seven months. The ripening time of this cheese, together with the mixture of different kinds of milk, influences its flavour in a decisive way and makes it much more intense. Its water content is also much lower than that of a semi-cured cheese or a tender cheese resulting in a surface that is harder. I was told that the ripening time was a minimum of 10 months.

 

 

Similarly, the longer the ripening time of a cheese, the greater its fat content. As you can read on the label, it is a product that provides 39 grams of fat per 100 grams (27 grams are saturated fat), 26 grams of protein and just a few grams of carbohydrates. Like other dairy products, this cheese is also rich in calcium, potassium and vitamin D. While it is true that it is an exquisite snack, try and reserve it for special occasions or your calorie count will go through the roof!

That said, it is a must and if you haven't tried this cheese before, you really must go out and buy it. Coupled with some red wine, serrano ham, bread and olives and you really can't go wrong!



Like 4




5 Comments


David H said:
04 January 2020 @ 13:35

Enjoyed your article Ian but it's probably elevated the cheese to premium class and you'll be seeing even less of it in Mercadona as Eye on Spain readers raid the shelves!
Maybe a reveal of the top 10 Spanish cheeses in the competition would give us a chance to find something special in amongst the bewildering choice in most Spanish supermarkets.


steve58c said:
05 January 2020 @ 19:31

can you recommend a good spanish smoked cheese


eos_ian said:
10 January 2020 @ 09:43

Thanks for reading! David, You shouldn't find it too difficult to get, if they don't have it in stock one day it will probably be there in the next few days, just keep an eye out for it. Funnily enough, when I read your comment I was in Mercadona at the time and the shelf was full of Queso Tostado... :-) When I find a moment I will put together a list of the top 10 Spanish cheeses. Steve, I don't normally eat smoked cheese so I can't honestly recommend one, but I will ask my cheese-loving friends to see if they can recommend one!





Peter Walton said:
16 January 2020 @ 13:28

I really enjoy your blogs Ian. Please keep them coming


brianjackson said:
17 January 2020 @ 15:11

Thanks for the article, I found this in my local Mercadona and tried some, it was really nice. Thanks.


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