Spanish Cheese

Learn more about Brindisa's cheese here. Here at Brindisa you’ll find a fantastic selection of Spanish cheese. Sourced from the very best suppliers, discover the authentic taste of Spain with our delicious Manchego, Valdeon Picos Blue, Tetilla and more. Great for big parties, why not shop our whole cheese wheels or, if you’re looking for a cheese board selection, shop our pre-packed wedges and soft, torta style cheeses from Extremadura.

Spanish Cheese

The land of a thousand cheeses, Spain is known as much for nutty Manchego as it is for Iberico ham. Geographical and climatic diversity makes for a fantastic range of delicious Spanish cheeses made from the milk of cows, ewes and goats. Cheese from Spain comes in a variety of different styles including rindless, smoked and flavoured and benefits from a thriving artisan and small dairy culture that retains authentic characteristics and traditional flavours.

The production of Spanish cheese is deeply rooted in the country's rich cheese-making heritage. Passed down from generation to generation, this age-old tradition has resulted in an incredible diversity of cheeses. The essential characteristics of Spanish cheese are influenced by the type of milk used, the climate, and the cheese-making techniques employed.

Cow’s milk cheeses are typically found along the North coast of Spain in Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria. However, one of Spain’s best-known cow’s milk cheeses, Mahon, is produced in Menorca. Sheep’s milk cheese is generally found inland on the Meseta or tablelands of Castilla-Leon and La Mancha, as well as Extremadura. Spanish goat’s cheeses are largely produced along the Mediterranean coast and on the Canary Islands.

The Types of Spanish Cheese

Spanish cheeses can be broadly categorised into three main classes: fresh cheese, semi-cured cheese, and cured cheese. Each class offers a unique taste and texture profile, appealing to different cheese enthusiasts.

Fresh Cheese

Fresh cheese, known as "Queso Fresco" in Spanish, is a cheese that has not been cured or aged. It is characterised by its mild and creamy flavour. Fresh cheese is often enjoyed as a standalone dish or incorporated into various recipes. It pairs well with fruits, vegetables, and bread.

Semi-Cured Cheese

Semi-cured cheese, or "Queso Semi Curado," is aged for around two to four months. It strikes a balance between the mildness of fresh cheese and the intensity of cured cheese. Semi-cured cheese offers a fuller flavour profile and a slightly firmer texture. It can be enjoyed on its own or used as a versatile ingredient in cooking.

Cured Cheese

Cured cheese, also known as "Queso Curado," is aged for a minimum of four months. This extended ageing process gives the cheese a complex and robust flavour. Cured cheese can range from firm and crumbly to hard and dense. It is often enjoyed on a cheese board, paired with cured meats, fruits and nuts.

The Regional Influence on Spanish Cheese

The geographical diversity of Spain plays a significant role in the production of its cheeses. Each region has its own unique characteristics, resulting in a wide variety of flavours and textures. Some of the key regions known for their exceptional Spanish cheeses include:

  • Andalucía

    In the southern region of Andalucía, several notable cheeses are produced. Queso de las Alpujarras, made in the Alpujarra mountains, is a protected designation of origin (PDO) cheese with a distinctive flavour. Queso de los Pedroches, produced from raw sheep milk, is another noteworthy cheese from this region.

  • Aragon

    Aragon is home to several traditional Spanish cheeses. Queso de Tronchón, mentioned by Cervantes in Don Quixote, is made with sheep milk and sometimes mixed with goat milk. Queso Echo y Ansó, Queso de Biescas, and Queso Patamulo are other popular cheeses from this region.

  • Asturias

    Asturias is renowned for its flavourful and unique cheeses. Queso Cabrales, a PDO cheese, is a pungent blue cheese crafted in the Picos de Europa mountains. Queso de Afuega el Pitu, Queso de Los Beyos, and Queso Casín are other notable cheeses from Asturias.

  • Balearic Islands

    The Balearic Islands boast two famous cheeses: Formatge de Maó from Menorca and Formatge Mallorquí from Mallorca. These PDO cheeses are made from cow's milk and have distinct flavours that reflect the island's terroir.

  • Basque Country

    The Basque Country is known for its exceptional Queso Idiazábal. This PDO cheese is made from Lachen sheep's milk and is shared with the neighbouring region of Navarre. Queso Idiazábal has a distinct smoky flavour and a smooth, firm texture.

  • Canary Islands

    The Canary Islands produce a variety of unique cheeses. Queso majorero, Queso de flor, and Queso palmero are all PDO cheeses that showcase the distinct flavours and characteristics of this volcanic archipelago.

  • Cantabria

    Cantabria is home to Picón Bejes-Tresviso, a PDO cheese similar to Asturian Cabrales but with its own unique features. Quesucos de Liébana and Queso Nata de Cantabria are other notable cheeses from this region.

  • Castile–La Mancha

    Castile–La Mancha is famous for its iconic Queso Manchego, a PDO cheese made from the milk of Manchego sheep. Queso de Oropesa is another noteworthy cheese from this region, known for its distinct flavour and texture.

  • Castile and León

    Castile and León boast the renowned Queso zamorano and Queso de Valdeón, both PDO cheeses. Queso pata de mulo, Queso castellano, and Queso de Burgos are other notable cheeses from this region.

  • Catalonia

    Catalonia offers a variety of delicious cheeses. Formatge de l'Alt Urgell i la Cerdanya, Mató, and Tou dels Til·lers are all PDO cheeses with unique flavours and textures. Catalonia's cheese-making tradition is deeply ingrained in its culinary heritage.

  • Extremadura

    Extremadura is known for its distinct cheeses, including Queso de La Serena, Torta del Casar, and Queso Ibores. These PDO cheeses showcase the region's rich gastronomic culture and are highly sought after by cheese connoisseurs.

  • Galicia

    Galicia produces Queso de Tetilla and Queso Arzúa-Ulloa, both PDO cheeses with their own unique characteristics. Queso Cebreiro and Queso San Simón da Costa are other notable cheeses from this region.

  • Murcia

    Murcia is home to Queso de Murcia al vino, a PDO cheese made from pasteurised Murcian goat milk. This cheese has a distinct flavour and is often enjoyed with a glass of wine. Queso de Murcia is another notable cheese from this region.

  • Navarre

    Navarre shares the renowned Queso Idiazábal and Queso Roncal with the Basque Country. These PDO cheeses are highly regarded for their exceptional quality and distinct flavours.

  • Valencian Community

    The Valencian Community offers a variety of cheeses, including Queso blanquet, Queso de la Nucia, Queso de cazoleta, and Queso Tronchón. These cheeses showcase the diverse culinary traditions of the region.

How to store your cheese

Find tips on how best to look after your cheese in our cheese care guide.