Torta del Casar
Produced in the Extremadura province of Spain, Torta Del Casar is a soft cheese with a dense, creamy texture and a rich, slightly funky flavor.
The cheese is made from the rich raw milk of Merino and Entrefino sheep. Their milk yield is low but high in protein and fat. The milk is then coagulated using vegetable rennet from dried cardoon thistle stamens. This vegetable extract imbues the cheese with its subtle yet distinguishing earthiness as well as a slight bitterness.
The curds are cut, placed in cylindrical molds, and pressed. The final cylinders weigh roughly two pounds and are about two to three inches high. The are then aged for at least two months.
Torta del Casar's rind is somewhat loose and undulating. With age, it can sometimes separate from the almost liquid paste within. The ivory paste is soft and spreadable. Accordingly, the traditional way to eat this cheese is with the rind cut off, so that the paste can be served by the spoonful or dipped into with a crusty piece of bread.
Torta del Casar is rich, sour, and slightly nutty, diffused with floral notes and flavors of butter and artichokes. It has a noticeable earthiness and a bitter finish.
Pair with crusty bread and slices of chorizo.