Unripened or ripe cheese, made from cows’ milk from the Rubia Gallega, Alpine Brown and Friesian breeds reared locally.
The production area for both the milk and the cheese is in the province of Lugo (Galicia) and includes the municipalities of Baleira, Baralla, Becerreá, Castroverde, Cervantes, Folgoso do Courel, A Fonsagrada, Láncara, Navia de Suarna, As Nogais, Pedrafita do Cebreiro, Samos and Triacastela.
The following processes are involved in making the cheese:
Coagulation: The milk is soured at 26-30ºC / 78-86ºF using animal rennet or other starters authorized in the Quality Manual in the right dose to ensure the process takes no less than 60 minutes.
Cutting: The curds are cut to obtain cubes 10-20 mm / ½ – 7/8 inch in diameter.
Draining: They are first drained in the vat, then transferred to cloth bags and hung for 5-10 hours.
Working and salting: After draining, the curds are worked to give a uniform paste with a clay-like texture, and sodium chloride is added.
Molding and pressing: The paste is packed into molds and pressed for different lengths of time depending on the pressure applied and the size of the cheeses. They are then turned out and chilled at 2-6ºC / 35-42ªF for a minimum of 1 hour. They are then ready to be sold as fresh cheeses.
Cheeses that are to be ripened are transferred to storage chambers with a relative humidity of 70-80% and a temperature of 10-15º / 50-59ºF, for a minimum of 45 days.
The unripened cheese does not have a distinctive rind. The paste is white, grainy, soft, rather like clay to the touch, creamy, and melts in the mouth. The flavor and aroma are slightly sharp, similar to those of the milk the cheese is made from. The cured cheese has a light rind, and the paste, from yellow to bright yellow, is sometimes hard and always more firm than buttery. The flavor is slightly piquant and lactic, with a characteristic aroma.
The cheese has the shape of a thick-based mushroom or a chef’s hat and has two parts – the cylindrical base of varying diameter and no higher than 12 cm / 4¾ in, and the top which is 1 – 2 cm / ½-7/8 in larger in diameter and never higher than 3 cm / 1¼ in. Weight is 0.3 – 2 kg / 10 oz – 4 lb 7 oz.
The analytical content is:
– Moisture: varies depending on ripeness, but below 50%.
– Fat: minimum 45% and maximum 60% of dry matter.
– Protein: over 30%.
– Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
– Regulatory Council, Cebreiro PDO
Consejo Regulador de la DOP Cebreiro
Avda. de Castilla, nº 18- Bajo
27670 Pedrafita do Cebreiro (Lugo)
Tel: (+34) 982 367 012
Fax: (+34) 982 367 412