Brindisa’s cured, soft and torta cheeses

Brindisa Spanish Foods have two stalls at Abergavenny. One of them is a cheese stall, sampling and selling a selection of Spain’s cured, soft and Torta cheeses, many if which remain largely unknown outside Spain.
Three Spanish cheeses that you might not have heard of but Brindisa will be showcasing at this year’s Festival include:Tupí: An unusual cheese, a mix of cured and semi-cured cows´ milk cheeses, combined with Aguardiente (an alcoholic drink made from the final pulp of grapes used for wine making), and allowed to ferment. From Sort in Catalunya, this mix is an old shepherds´ tradition, to use up leftovers of cheese and keep away the winter chill in the high mountain passes, and available in a ceramic pot. It is made by the Tros de Sort dairy which is a partnership of four Pyrennean dairy farmers who recruited Nacho Báez, son of Rafael Báez of the Monte Enebro dairy, as their master cheese maker. This cheese is not for the faint hearted: its soft texture makes it a perfect canapé cheese on dry bread and it pairs well with cold beers and ciders. The touch of alcohol and its sharp tang would also make a delicious Welsh Rarebit, seasoned with wild majoram.

Cabrales D.O.P: This cheese is aged in cold, damp humid caves which is how the distinctive natural blueing occurs. The characteristic flavour of Cabrales becomes more aggressive as it ages: our cheeses have a 3 month age profile which will bring you all the complexity of taste without too much abrasiveness and will also give a soft texture that is easy to cut, as well as helping the cheese to maintain its condition and not “turn” too quickly. Some moisture on the top of very young cheeses is normal. The strong flavours provide a challenge for pairing with other foods. One of Brindisa’s biggest fans of this cheese eats it alongside an aged whisky, but we would suggest a good cider, a fortified wine such as port or sweet PX sherry or a robust Riojan white.

Mahon D.O.P “Afinador”: Nicolás Cardona is one of two practicing Afinadores (master curers) in Menorca. He selects fresh, white cheeses for Brindisa from 2 farms, each with small herds of 50 cattle. He and his wife Rosa mature the cheeses, washing the rinds with paprika flavoured olive oil which produces an aroma like fresh peaches.
Pick up your free Festival Guide for details of all market venues and stalls.


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