The sumptuous story of Spanish cheese
When we think of Spanish cuisine, we think of enticing aromas and exotic flavours that dance on the palate and indulge the senses. Naturally, fine Spanish wines come to mind, and of course so do an array of flavoursome and tantalising cheeses. Spain produces a wide variety of high quality cheeses made with milk that come from either cows, sheep, goats, or sometimes even a mixture of the three.
Spanish cheese-making traditions go back thousands of years, pre-dating the first centuries of the modern era when Spain was under Roman rule. To this day the quality of Spanish cheese production is highly regarded, and just as with wine, a large number of cheeses are classified as Protected Designation of Origin (D.O.P.), ensuring that a cheese’s label of origin is accurate and representative of its distinctive quality and uniqueness.
The production process of cheese usually varies dependent on the strength of flavour. In general, cheeses with the lightest or mildest flavours are those that are soft and often made from cow’s milk with a short curing time. They are best paired with young white wines and tend to have a “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation with a soft and creamy texture, exemplifying an indulgent Mediterranean lifestyle.
Medium-flavoured cheeses might be made from cow or goat’s milk and are usually semi-cured and not as soft as the mild cheeses. They can be paired well with young red or rosé wines, allowing the flavours to play off each other in a culinary fandango of both contrast and harmony. The ageing process for all cheeses impact the flavour. For example, when aged for two months the results can bring a hard, tangy and salty cheese with regional characteristics of the milk used. By contrast, strong cheeses have the longest curing or ageing process (between two and five months) and are often made from sheep’s milk or a mix. They are best when paired with red wines that have a full body, bringing out a delightful array of Spanish flavour.
La Peral is an example of a medium-strong cheese from cow and sheep’s milk. It is wonderfully distinctive with an intense flavour and aroma combined with a rich, creamy and buttery texture. An example of a strong sheep’s milk cheese is Manchego from the region of Castilla, La Mancha. Manchego is arguably one of Spain’s most celebrated cheeses. Payoyo is another famous Spanish cheese made with goats’ milk with a medium flavour. This semi-firm, dense and creamy cheese delights the senses with an aroma of fresh flowers with hints of white chocolate and sage in the flavour. It is best enjoyed with medium bodied white or light red wines.
Experience the culture
The consumption of cheese is a way of life in Spain. It is eaten daily, whether by itself, with bread, or as a tapa or even as a dessert. We’re all about bringing you the most authentic Spanish dining experiences here at Pluma. We want you to sample the delicious flavours of Spanish food from the picturesque location of Old Amersham.
Our menu features some of Spain’s most celebrated cheeses for you to enjoy from our Tapas Menu. We’d strongly recommend our “Spanish cheeses selection”; a dish featuring Payoyo, Idiazabal, Manchego and La Peral cheeses, served with quince, walnuts and Gallego bread. This is a dish that will allow you to sample the delights of some of these most famous cheeses whilst immersing yourself in our inspiring Spanish contemporary dining environment.
Of course, an authentic meal deserves an appropriately selected bottle of wine. We recommend a bottle of Pluma’s hand-picked Loli Casado, Juan De Alzate Crianza 2015, Rioja as the perfect accompaniment to this wonderful cheese election.
The full menu details can be found here: www.plumarestaurants.com/menu/
Once you’ve experienced Pluma for yourself, we’re sure you’ll be singing “olé” from the rooftops, just like these customers…
“We had heard amazing things about this restaurant so we decided to book a table and I am so glad we did! The food was absolutely spot on from start to finish. We enjoyed everything.”
“We enjoyed a fabulous evening meal – the tapas is some of the best we have had! The wine list is also great and espresso martinis to top it all off.”
“First class ingredients, great cooking, well-presented dishes and the food tastes excellent. Very good selection of wine.”
Here at Pluma, we’re primed to take you on a delicious and fantastic journey through the world of Spanish cheese, wine and more. Book a table with us and indulge in the tapas, we’re ready to welcome you.