Gourmet Guide/Markets

Spanish Cheese-Connoisseur’s Guide

Spanish Cheese
Written by Aksel Ritenis

Spanish CheeseFrom the moors in sunny Andalucía, to the Basques, whose origins are lost in the midst of history, Spain’s many distinct regions and cultures produces an amazing array of over 100 artisan cheese from the miltk of cows, sheep and goats. We have assembled for a representative selection of theses distint hand-fashioned cheeses that are the pride of Spain.


Sheep, cows and goats are grazing on myriad plateaus and valleys of the mountainous Spain producing milk that has been made into a broad variety of cheeses – many of which may be a new experience for your palate. The goats bring us a bonewhite cheese that is marinated in wine, or fashioned into soft goat cheese buttons with herbs.


From the sunny Balearic island of Minorca comes Mahón, a wonderful combination of cream from three distinct strains of cows. The rounded orange-rinded cheese is reminiscent of Dutch Gouda or Edam.

Minorca is the outermost of the three Balearic islands. The city of Mahón is the major town on this small agricultural island.

Traditionally, to produce Mahón cheese, the curd is placed in the center of a cloth. The corners of the cloth are then knotted and twisted together, which gives the cheese its typical “cushion” shape. It then matures in the cloth for several days. The flavour is smooth, yet buttery sharp, slightly salty with a marvellous creamy, nutty aroma.

Mahón cheese is young, with a texture that is smooth and supple, and the aroma is sweet and fruity. This is a versatile cheese – nice as a tapa with olives and wine or beer. You can eat it the traditional way, sliced, then sprinkled with olive oil, black pepper, and tarragon. It is also a great treat when it is melted on toast. Keep your young Mahón in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Various Spanish CheesesTETILLA CHEESE

On the northwest coast, far from the Mediterranean island of Minorca, milk from the cows of Celtic Alicia is made into traditional smoked San Simón tetillas.

The region of Galicia is almost a country of its own – green and lush with rugged mountains and ocean waves lapping into peaceful fjords. The people are Celts, complete with bagpipes.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Axel is the Editor and Publisher of Connoisseur Magazine "for the Finer Things in Life" and has been the custodian of the magazine for over 10 years and leader of a team of freelance Journalists and Community Members who continue to make it all happen!-Join the Team at Connoisseur Magazine!

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