Produced in Catalonia, Garrotxa is a traditional Spanish goat's milk cheese. It had virtually become extinct by the 1980's, but it was revived in 1981. Today, Garrotxa is produced by a small number of cheesemakers who are dedicated to revitalizing this cheese.
Historically, Spain, unlike other European countries, did not develop as many cheeses for commercial sale. However, recent years have seen this trend reversed. New cheesemakers have inspired a renaissance of traditional and formerly-extinct cheeses, like Garrotxa, as well as the introduction of many new varieties.
Made from pasteurized goat's milk, Garrotxa is shaped into 2lb rounds and matured for between three and four weeks in natural caves. The cheese develops a suede-like dark gray rind, inspiring its other moniker: "Pell Florida," which means "bloomy rind" in the Catalan dialect.
The interior paste is ivory-white in color, with occasional small holes, and becomes slightly darker towards the rind. The texture is firm, smooth, and slightly flaky.
Flavors are mildly herbal and earthy, with a pleasant goaty tang that lingers. There is a hint of hazelnuts in the aftertaste.
Serve with walnuts, honey, and Spanish ham as a part of a tapas spread. Garrotxa pairs well with simple reds and crisp whites like Vinho Verde and Cava, or try it with a summery wheat beer.