Sunday, July 10, 2011
Serra da Estrela - Portugal's Mont d'Or
I've been in Portugal for the last few days finding out about cork and spending a day in the Vinho Verde region. I remember from my last visit a few years ago that there are some amazing Portuguese cheeses but this time found only one - Serra da Estrela, which is named after the highest mountain range in Portugal.
It's a totally delicious semi-soft sheeps' cheese that's served with the top cut open so you can dunk your bread or toast in its gooey interior. The milk comes from Bordeleira sheep which feed on wild mountain plants and herbs. It's coagulated with cardoons rather than animal rennet which makes for the silky flowing texture - not unlike a Vacherin Mont d'Or.
It's actually quite mild and buttery so you could drink it with a mature red - which is what the Portuguese themselves would do but we enjoyed it with a 2007 Alvarinho from Quintas de Melgaço.
Do try it if you get the chance.