“City of Sansueña” A Solemn Cheese. Part II. Juan Uña (founder) tells us that something to highlight is that “we have achieved homogeneity in the product throughout the year, using artisanal manufacturing, but very controlled.”
And something that makes our cheeses have that characteristic DNA resides in the making of our cheese, he explains, all manufacturing practices are aimed at preventing whey from leaving the curd.
“City of Sansueña” A Solemn Cheese. Part II
The Denomination of Origin
At the end of the 19th century, cheese factories began to appear in the area, mostly familiar due to the recognition that this product had outside its place of production.
Cheese production in Zamora has been protected by a Denomination of Origin (DO) since 1993 that guarantees the quality of the products.
Zamorano sheep cheese, to comply with the established standards, has to respect a series of conditions that will guarantee good taste and quality.
The foundation of raw material
To make quality Zamorano cheese, it is essential to have a good raw material from the milk of the Churra and Castilian sheep, which produce high-quality milk, rich in nutrients.
The molding and pressing process is also important to achieve the desired product once set. The idea is to achieve that cylindrical shape that highlights the product worldwide and weighs 4 kilograms.
Finally, the phase of salting the cheese and curing it for a minimum period of 100 days. Is carried out, during which we will clean it and turn it over. Depending on the cheese, we will prolong the curing time or not, Juan Uña points out.
Varieties of “Ciudad de Sansueña” A Solemn Cheese.
We make four types of Zamorano cheese, cured, butter, oil and rosemary, so that consumers can find the one that best suits their preferences. We have several modalities that have the common element of having 100% sheep’s milk. Now, it is worth noting that all cheeses are made from raw sheep’s milk.
In raw cheese the temperature of the milk never rises to 36 º. So the fermentation is carried out with natural bacteria, avoiding the addition of artificial ferments.
The physicochemical changes, which in the end are responsible for the flavor, texture and aroma, are carried out by microorganisms and enzymes in a slow and natural way, accompanied by the loss of water and the migration of salt towards the center of the cheese.
By means of a long pressing lasting 24 hours and an exhaustive drying of the curd, we achieve a smooth texture and a very rough palate.
And something vital our cheese does not itch, because we know that the spicy flavor would mask the authentic taste of sheep cheese that is essential in a product like ours.
Juan Uña tells us that they do not use paints on the crust, it is covered by a layer of mold that remains when brushing the cheese.
And we make a cheese with a thickness of the rind that is minimal, considering that it is a cheese with a year of curing. This is due to a very slow cure, without speeding up the process with fast drying.
This small thickness allows the best use of it, this professional and lover of cheese describes.
Another characteristic morphology of the “CIUDAD DE SANSUEÑA” cheese is that when you make a cut, your eyes are hardly appreciated, this is due to its continuous non-brittle texture, and the eyes that appear when cut are very thin, distributed evenly and with irregular shapes “partridge’s eye”.
The cured cheese .
For cheese lovers, what really matters is how cured sheep cheese behaves on the palate, Juan Uña tells us, it is a very homogeneous cheese.
Thanks to artisan and controlled production and strict control, we can offer a cheese with a very equal color. And also to the artisan elaboration, we can make a very soft cheese.
By preventing the whey from remaining in the curd, we achieve the correct acidity balance. To do this, we subject each cheese to a pressing process that lasts 24 hours and dry the curd through an exhaustive process.
And he concludes his explanation by saying that despite its long curing period, “but thanks to our manufacturing system. We are able to create a cheese with an authentic flavor, without itching to mask its nuances.”
Pairing of Ciudad de Sansueña “A Solemn Cheese.
And to finish Ciudad de Sansueña, a Solemn Cheese tells us that its cured sheep cheese, thanks to its intense flavor, is the perfect starter to any meal.
Accompanied by glass bread and with a good red wine it will be a simple gourmet quality starter. If we prefer, a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc will help us soften the flavors of the cheese.
In addition, we can try to introduce it in recipes as a substitute for strong-tasting cheeses such as Parmesan or granna padano, and serve it to enhance the flavor of rice and pasta.
Lastly, it suggests another riskier option and that is to use it to enhance the flavor of a beef carpaccio, mixing a little celery and a little apple.
By Ángel Marqués Avila. Journalist