Made in Albal in Valencia, Spain, by cheesemaker Enrique, the production of Malvarosa is relatively recent. The creation of Malvarosa was initiated as an effort to save the virtually extinct local breed of Guirra sheep by utilizing their milk to make the cheese.
Malvarosa is made using pasteurized milk. Cheeses destined for the Spanish market are formed in the traditional Manchego molds. However, cheeses due to be sold in the United States are treated differently: after being placed in cheesecloth, the curds are pressed and drained by bringing the corners of the cloth together and tying them tightly to squeeze out excess whey. Once released from the cloth, the curds take on the imprint and creases of the cloth, as well as the distinctive, pointed "servilleta" shape where the knot of the cloth was tied.
Cheeses are aged for a minimum of three months beore being released.
The texture of Malvarosa is firm and smooth and slightly moist. The paste is a creamy, pale straw color.
Flavors are rich and buttery, with notes of caramel and toasted nuts and have the accompanying sweetness of the sheep's milk.
Malvarosa pairs well with a full bodied Rioja.