04 December 2011

Three Cheers for Alcalá Cheese!

Earlier this year I wrote a post about Quesería El Gazul, which makes delicious cheese and yoghurt from the milk of Alcalá's extensive goat population.   At last week's World Cheese Awards, held at the BBC Good Food Show in the NEC Birmingham, one of Jorge Puerto's gourmet products was judged one of the world's Fifty Best Cheeses.  The competition is the world´s largest, and the shortlist was selected by two hundred international judges who sampled over 2,500 submission from 34 countries.

Jorge Puerto with cheeses from the El Gazul range
In all, twelve Spanish cheeses appear in the top 50, compared with eight from England (including last year's winner from the Cornish Blue Cheese Company), eight from Switzerland, six from Italy, six from the USA, and only three from France.  The conventional wisdom that the French make all the best cheeses seems to be up for debate - though they did produce the overall winner, Ossau Irati AOP from Fromagerie Agour.

Alcalá's "Super Oro" prizewinning entry was an organic cheese made from the milk of a special flock of  Payoya goats and branded as "Montes de Alcalá".  The other cheeses produced at El Gazul are made using blended milk from different flocks, so cannot officially carry the label "organic", though they are undoubtedly "free-range".

In all, 28 cheeses from Cádiz Province won awards this year, making artisan cheese production one of the few growth industries in the region. The others came from dairies in Villaluenga and El Bosque, in the northeast of the Sierra de Cádiz.

The Quesería El Gazul has a shop on the Poligono La Palmosa (behind the hotel), open until 2 pm.  To purchase our wonderful cheeses online, visit the website of La Alacena.

Milking time!

1 comment:

Tumbit said...

Is it me or does Sr Cheesemaker have more than a passing resemblance to Sir Ben kinglsey ?