The province of Zamora (Castile-León)
The milk must be whole and clean and must contain no colostrum, contaminants, preservatives, antibiotics or any other product that might affect production, ripening or storage.First the milk is soured using rennet. This process requires a temperature of 28-32ºC (82-89ºF) and takes 30-45 minutes.
The resulting curds are then cut until they form grains measuring 5-10 mm (1/5–2/5”). The mixture is then heated gradually to a maximum of 40ºC (104ºF), and the curds are molded and pressed, forming the characteristic wheel shape. Salting can be done using dry salt or by submerging the cheese in brine for a maximum of 36 hours.
The cheese is then left to ripen for no less than 100 days, starting from the date of molding, during which period it is turned and cleaned as necessary. PDO cheeses are identified with a numbered seal, an identifying label and a ‘casein’ label.
Characteristic, intense, well-developed aroma and flavor. The aroma is reminiscent of the sheep´s milk the cheese is made from. Persistent in the mouth, with mainly sharp and salty flavors, plus a touch of piquancy. The texture is firm and compact.
Wheel-shaped, with a herringbone pattern imprinted on the top and bottom and a zigzag pattern on the sides. Maximum height 14 cm (5½”), maximum diameter 24 cm (9½”) and maximum weight 4 kg (8 lb 13 oz).
The rind is hard, well-defined and pale yellow to dark grey. The paste varies from white to yellowish ivory, and is dotted with small eyes.
The physical and chemical properties are as follows:
– Fat over dry matter: 45%
– Minimum protein: 25%
– Minimum dry matter: 55%
– pH: 5.1 to 5.8
– Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
– Regulatory Council, Queso Zamorano PDO