The Queijo Terrincho PDO is a mature semi-hard cheese made from the milk of the Churra da Terra Quente breed of sheep, which is extensively reared on the natural vegetation of the pastures and marshlands of Terra Quente.
The milk is filtered and brought to a temperature of 35°C when the natural rennet is added to coagulate the milk. The curd obtained is placed in the moulds (cinchos) and hand pressed to extract the whey. When the cheese is removed from the moulds it is salted and left to dry. It is aged for 30 days in a natural or climate controlled environments at a temperature of between 5°C and 12°C and 80% to 85% humidity. During the whole of this time the cheese is frequently turned and washed.
Appearance and Flavour
Queijo Terrincho PDO is cylindrical in shape, thin, without defined borders with a diameter of between 13 cm and 20 cm, a thickness of between 3 cm and 6 cm and weighing between 800 gr and 1,200 gr. It is a semi-hard cheese, uniform, compact, slightly buttery with regular air bubbles and is white in colour. The rind is malleable, well formed, smooth and straw coloured. The taste is delicate and clean.
Queijo Terrincho PDO cheese is made in the municipal areas of Mogadouro, Alfândega da Fé, Moncorvo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Mirandela, Vila Flor, Carrazeda de Ansiães, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Macedo de Cavaleiros, São João da Pesqueira, Valpaços, Meda and Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, in the districts of Bragança, Vila Real, Viseu and Guarda.
The history of Queijo Terrincho PDO cheese is closely linked to the Churra da Terra Quente breed of sheep, locally known as Terrincho, which is found in the Terra Quente area and in the valley of the river Douro. The Terrincho breed of sheep grew in numbers during the 19th century and now makes up 98% of the regions sheep. The first official written reference to it is in a document dated 1900 describing the agriculture of Portugal.
Queijo Terrincho PDO must be stored at a temperature of between 0°C and 10°C. It is eaten as a snack, as a starter or at the end of a meal. It is ideal with a slice of fresh, crusty bread and a glass of the local red wine.
This cheese is sold as Queijo Terrincho PDO, Queijo Terrincho PDO Velho (matured for 90 days) and Queijo Terrincho Apimentado (covered with paprika). It is sold whole or in prepacked portions in cling film clearly labelled, bearing a seal of guarantee and its PDO certification.
Terra Quente is an area of mountains, plateaus, valleys, wet areas and dry areas with a climate that goes from Atlantic/Mediterranean to semiarid Mediterranean and to a harsher continental climate. These conditions produce abundant natural vegetation and conditions that are ideal for the traditional rearing of livestock and the production of milk which, transformed with the knowledge and skill of the local people handed down through the generations, gives us this unmistakable and excellent Queijo Terrincho PDO cheese.