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Torta del Casar

Cheeses of Extremadura

Extremadura

Extremadura

The Extremadura Cheese Route

Cheeses are one of the culinary specialities of Extremadura. A visit to the different cheesemaking districts in the region is a journey to discover exquisite flavours and intriguing textures. Tasting the varieties, trying out recipes with local cheeses, or seeing how Extremdaura’s cheeses are made… This route can be summed up in one word: delicious.

Three Designations of Origin

Extremadura has three cheeses with officially protected names: Torta del Casar, La Serena, and Ibores. Torta del Casar is a sheep’s milk cheese which uses wild thistle stamens as rennet. The result is a creamy paste to spread on bread, and an absolute treat. It is produced in municipalities in the districts of Llanos de Cáceres, Sierra de las Fuentes and Montánchez.   Queso de la Serena is also made with thistle rennet, using only milk from Merino sheep. A curious anecdote is that you need milk from 15 sheep to make a single kilo of cheese. This is another spreadable cheese, and originated in the district of La Serena.The third jewel in the crown, Queso Ibores, is made with goat’s milk. It is made in the area of Los Ibores, Las Villuercas, La Jara and Trujillo, where the huge variety of wild herbs in the pastures contribute to the exquisite milk produced by the herds. You can find it with a natural rind, oil-rubbed, or paprika-rubbed.    

Cheeses of Extremadura

Cheesemaking areas

Alongside these three famous cheeses, there are another seven cheesemaking areas in Extremadura: Alburquerque, Acehúche, Tierra de Barros, Cáceres, Gata-Hurdes, Siberia, and La Vera. Here you can try other specialities, like quesaílla, also known as “merendera” (snacker) because you can eat a whole one as a snack; Acehúche cheese, which smells terrible but tastes delicious; goat’s cheese from La Vera, rubbed with the famous paprika of La Vera, of course; and celebrated varieties like Torta de los Barros or goat’s cheese roulade.

Activities

If you would like to see just how the cheeses of Extremadura are made, you can opt for tastings and guided tours of cheesemakers and farms. Or you could attend the National Cheese Fair in Trujillo (in late April or early May). As well as the cheeses of Extremadura, the fair gives you the chance to taste over 300 varieties from all over Spain, and the specialities of each year’s guest country. It also includes tasting competitions, workshops and demonstrations on artisanal methods.

Visit and activities in a cheesemaker in Extremadura
Sheep