The Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO is a pressed paste cheese produced from cow's milk from Frisona breed.
The milk is coagulated with the addition of animal rennet at a temperature of 30°C for about 40 minutes. Once the right consistency is reached, the paste is put into moulds of the pre-established size and shape, where it undergoes pressing for a maximum of 24 hours. After being pressed, the cheese is salted in brine and left to season for not more than a week. During the seasoning period, the cheeses are turned and the rind is cleaned.
Appearance and Flavour
Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO has a white ivory colour and a shape which can be either cylindrical or parallelepiped with smooth, flat faces. The rind is soft and the paste has a buttery and creamy consistency without holes. The flavour is fresh, with a characteristic aroma which recalls butter.
The production area of Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO is located only in the Autonomous Community of Cantabria.
The origins of Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO are tied to the renowned traditions of cows' milk cheese making in the area of Cantabria. Originally, Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO was known as pasiego prensado, as it was produced in the towns of the valleys of the River Pas. The production of this cheese has registered considerable progress over the last century, when at the end of the Spanish civil war, the raising of Frisian and Santanderina cattle became rapidly diffused throughout the region of Cantabria.
Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO should be kept in a fresh, dry area and during the summer months in the refrigerator, wrapped in Clingfilm or tin foil. It melts easily and is often used as a stuffing or filling, but can also be enjoyed simply spread on a thick slice of bread. It goes well with fish and with chicken but also with dishes of a delicate flavour and with honey and yogurt. It is perfect for enriching soups and stews and goes very well with young red wines.
The product is sold as Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO. It is available soft and semi-aged, cylindrical or block, in slices packed in appropriate vacuumsealed containers.
The pedoclimatic and environmental conditions of the Queso Nata de Cantabria PDO's production area, characterised by uncontaminated mountain terrain with a very humid climate, give unique organoleptic quality to this cheese.