Serra da Estrela cheese

Serra da Estrela
Other names Queijo da Serra
Country of origin Portugal
Region Serra da Estrela
Source of milk Ewes
Texture Soft to Semi-hard
Certification PDO 1996

Serra da Estrela cheese (Queijo Serra da Estrela) is a cheese made in mountainous region of Serra da Estrela in Portugal, which has been granted PDO status in the European Union.[1]

The region where the Serra da Estrela cheese can be manufactured is limited to an area of 3,143.16 km2 (1,213.58 sq mi), which comprises the municipalities of Celorico da Beira, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Mangualde, Manteigas, Nelas, Oliveira do Hospital, Penalva do Castelo, Carregal do Sal, and Seia.


The production of the cheese has to follow very rigorous rules. It is made from sheep's milk, mostly during the months of November to March. Its maturation period has specific norms and must last thirty days at least. The texture of the paste varies depending on its age, from a very soft semi-liquid when young, to a soft but sliceable solid when older. It is a cured cheese created by artisanal producers with a white or slightly yellow color and a uniform creamy consistency with at most a few small holes in it. Its particular qualities result from slow draining of curdled raw sheep's milk which has been coagulated by using local Cynara cadunculus thistle rather than rennet.

The cheese is formed into a somewhat irregular wheel with slightly bulging sides and upper surface. It typically has a soft well-formed rind, smooth and thin with a uniform straw-yellow colour, and is traditionally bound in cloth.

Where to buy

The cheese is well known throughout Portugal as well as it is exported world-wide.

Ark of Taste

In 2014, the Serra da Estrela Cheese was boarded in the international catalogue of endangered heritage foods named Ark of Taste which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement.[2]

See also


  1. EU Serra da Estrela Profile (accessed 23 May 2009)
  2. Queijo Serra da Estrela in the "Ark of Taste", Fondazione Slow Food per la Biodiversità. Retrieved 26 March 2014
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