24 Dec Cheese produced in the province of Cádiz
Several archaeological discoveries have proved that the production of cheese in Cádiz, started thousands of years ago. The process was pretty simple, they first strained milk with the purpose of cleaning it. Then, they put the milk close to a fire a worned it up. They added a rennet and left the milk cook. After that process, the rennet was poured in a container made, most of the time, of wood with various holes, and it was pressed until all the water came out. The elaboration process has not changed a lot since then, however fortunately nowadays cheese makers have better equipment and hygiene conditions to elaborate this amazing product.
Around 800.000 kilos of traditional cheese is produced in the province of Cádiz every year. The main number of sheep and goat farms are located in the mountain range of Grazalema. It is a privilege area for the development of these farms due to the constant rains.
There are two local breeds in the province of Cádiz, the Payoyo and Merino goats. Payoyo is probably the most popular one between them. This type of goat can be found mainly in the mountain range of Grazalema and Serranía de Ronda and it is fed with their green and fresh grass.
The Payoyo cheese (Villaluenga del Rosario) has been awarded several times with the most important international prizes. This cheese is commonly cured or semi-cured, depending on the period of maturation (it can be 120 or 60 days respectively). Cheese is also produced with a mix of milk from Payoyo sheep and goat plus spices like thyme or sweet peppers, or even butter.
The Merina sheep of Grazalama comes from the mix of the Merino y Churro races. Its milk contains a high level of fat and protein which makes it very taste.