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Azeitão Cheese


If during winter time or first days in spring we go to certain farms in Arrabida zone, we come upon huge clay pots that stand by the fireplace. According to local tradition it´s in this containers that the sheep raw milk is curdle to get a creamy cheese of this region. It´s told that in the past century only by missing his homeland, Gaspar Henriques de Paiva, brought to Azeitão a shepherd from the region of Beira just to make of his flocks´milk a kind of "Serra" cheese, and hardly he knew he was starting the making of one the most appreciated sheep cheese on national level. The Azeitão cheese, as it was called since then has won Several pizes, becoming famous all Fabricoaround the country.
Noways, a few families still produce them in artisan cheese-dairies. Setubal, Sesimbra and Palmela are the actual tree subdivisions of district to usufruct the natural resources os Serra da Arrábida that makes Azeitão cheese a singular one . Setubal, Sesimbra and Palmela are the delimited region of this cheese. The abundant pasture and the blessing of a mild climate don´t explain by themselves the truly peculiar flavour of this cheese that someone has defined as having "a rather wild riste of sweet herbs". Only the knowhow and the experience, inheritance of severel generations of artisan cheese-makers, can garantee the perpetuation of Azeitão Cheese characteristics, campaign after campaign.

  This is a cured cheese, of a buttery, semi-soft consistency, white or light yellow in colour, with few or no holes. Produced in the subdistricts of Palmela, Sesimbra and Setubal. Established through use, particularly due to studies dating from the last century, to its artisanal production and to the existence of a Regional Association of Breeders of Serra da Arrabida Milk Sheep.
By slowly draining the curds, after coagulation of the pure, raw ewe's milk, through the action of a cardoon (Cynara cardunculus, L.) steep and originating in the region indicated.


      Body Inspection

      ARCOLSA - Associação Regional dos Criadores de Ovinos Leiteiros da 
      Serra da Arrábida
      Rua D. Jorge de Lencastre nº 1 A Quinta do Anjo
      2950 Palmela

       


© Copyright - Bernardo Costa Ramos  -   www.azeitao.net

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