The Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO is a hard cheese made from raw milk from the Serrana breed of goat. It is an artisan made cheese and has a humidity of between 25% and 35%.
The Serrana breed of goats are kept in the traditional, artisan way in this region and feed on the naturally occurring vegetation. The milk is filtered and brought to 35°C and then coagulated with natural rennet. The curd is then placed in moulds, leaving a layer of whey. The cheese is pressed by hand to remove all the whey. Once the cheese is removed from the moulds it is salted and left to mature for a maximum of 60 days at a temperature of between 5°C and 18°C and 70% to 85% humidity.
Appearance and Flavour
Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO cheese has a semi-hard rind, is smooth and well formed in a uniform white colour or a reddish colour if a layer of paprika and olive oil has been added to the rind. The cheese has a firm and compact consistency. It is cylindrical in shape without defined borders, between 3 cm and 6 cm in height and weighing between 600 gr and 900 gr. It has an intense and pleasant aroma, a clean taste with a hint of spice.
Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO cheese is made in the municipal areas of Mirandela, Macedo de Cavaleiros, Alfândega da Fé, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Vila Flor, Torre de Moncorvo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta and Mogadouro, in the district of Bragança, and in the municipal areas of Valpaços and Murça in the Vila Real district.
The origin of Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO cheese is closely linked to the long tradition of livestock rearing in this area. The production of milk and cheese has played a vital role for the inhabitants of the Trás-os-Montes mountain villages for a long time. Goats' cheese is also an important product in the economy of the entire area. Very many families raise goats to produce cheese and for many of them it is the sole source of income.
Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO cheese must be stored at a temperature of between 0°C and 10°C. It is eaten just as it is and is very appreciated as a starter or at the end of a meal or with a slice of good rye bread and a glass of the local red wine.
This cheese is sold as Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO. It is either sold as it is or wrapped in cling film, clearly labelled, bearing a seal of guarantee and its PDO certification. It may be sold in prepacked portions.
The distinctive features of Queijo de Cabra Transmontano PDO cheese are owed to the climate and the specific conditions of the area where it is produced. This is one of the most rural and most sparsely populated areas in Portugal and where livestock is still kept in the old, traditional way.