As my companion Esther informed us a few days ago, last week the Spanish Cheese Week was held in Madrid, a national cheese promotion campaign developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. During the event the prizes were awarded to the Best Spanish Cheeses of 2011, distinction that is granted to the most outstanding products of the country in the past year.
In an event held in the Madrid Mercado de San Antón, Minister Miguel Arias Cañete proceeded to deliver the awards, which are intended promote native cheeses with better organoleptic qualities and stimulate the development of quality products. This year they have been distributed in three categories, Spanish Native Cheeses, Organic Cheeses and Other Cheeses.
The complete list of the winners is as follows:
Category: Spanish native cheeses
- Fresh cheeses Prize: Quesos Belda, S.L., of L 'Alcúdia de Crespins (Valencia). Fresh semigrase cheese made with pasteurized cow and goat milk, rennet, calcium chloride and salt. It belongs to the native variety napkin.
- Soft Cheese. Prize: Hermanos Pajuelo, S.A.T., of Almoharín (Cáceres). Soft cheese made with raw sheep's milk. Torta del Casar Protected Designation of Origin.
- Cheese pressed sheep paste. Prize: Industrias Lácteas Benaventanas, S.A., (ILBESA), of Benavente (Zamora). Aged aged cheese made with raw sheep's milk. Of the native variety Queso Castellano
- Pressed cow cheese. Award: Crisanto S.A.T. . 1306 XUGA, from Vilalba (Lugo). Cured cheese made with pasteurized cow's milk, smoked with birch. From the San Simón da Costa Protected Designation of Origin.
- Pressed goat cheese. Prize: Félix Alberto Gil Rodríguez, from Puntagorda, La Palma (Santa Cruz de Tenerife). Cheese made with raw goat milk, compacted by hand and slightly pressed and coagulation produced by animal rennet. Protected Designation of Origin Palmero Cheese.
- Pressed pasta cheeses mix. Prize: Queserías Entrepinares, S.A.U., of Valladolid. Cheese of ripened fatty mixture, made with pasteurized sheep, cow and goat milk, of the native variety Cheese Castellano.
- Blue Pasta Cheeses. Prize: Quesos La Peral, S.L., from Illas (Asturias). Blue cheese made from pasteurized sheep's milk, fatty and coagulation produced by lactic ferments. It belongs to the native variety La Peral.
Category: Organic production cheeses
- Prize: Suerte Ampanera, S.L., from Colmenar Viejo (Madrid). Pasteurized goat milk cheese from organic cattle from razamurciano-grenadine.
Category: Other cheeses
- Prize: Central Quesera Montesinos, S.L., of Jumilla (Murcia). Soft cheese and acid lactic coagulation, made with pasteurized goat milk, coated with white mold.
Highlights the geographical variety of the different winners and the effort of the authorities to distinguish the highest quality cheeses that at the same time maintain the heritage of traditional processing. This is a list of winners with very different types of cheeses, with options for all tastes. Surely the cheese lover will feel like trying them all.