Surprisingly Catalonia, more than any other region of Spain, has experienced a revival of interest in its artisan cheeses in recent years. Whether it be purchasing cheese at a local market, eating a tapa, or indulging in a meal blended by a local chef, there are a great variety of cheeses in Catalonia. The centers of cheese production in Catalonia are in La Seu d’Urgell, Cerdanya district and the Pallars area in the northwest but you’ll find good cheese everywhere.
A Handful of Cheeses To Look Out For:
Garrotxa: This is a goat’s milk cheese originating from Girona, Spain. The production of Garrotxa ceased in 1980 but since then it has been revived by cheese enthusiasts. It has a thin rind dusted with blueish gray mold and a dense semi firm, smooth interior with a sweet nutty taste. Garrotxa pairs well with crusty country bread, nuts and is best served with white wines such as a Catalonian Priorat, Pinot Gris, Verdejo, or Chardonnay.
Motó: This is a young cheese, fresh and best when eaten when only a few days old. It is a sweet, unsalted, unfermented fresh cheese that Catalans eat for dessert with honey and perfect to complement walnuts or dessert.
Recuit: People often compare this cheese to Ricotta. It is a smooth, fresh, unsalted cheese with the look of thick clotted cream. It also resembles Mató and it is usually eaten for dessert. Made by the Nuri village in Ullastret, Recuit is hard to come by because most of the batches are shipped off to restaurants. But if you are lucky you may stumble upon it at a farm stand in the outskirts of Girona.
Serrat Gros: A prize-winning raw aged Alpina goat cheese combined with salt. This cheese is made spring through fall by a small producer in the village of Ossera.
Tupí: This smooth, spreadable, porridge-like cheese, is named after the small ceramic clay pot that it ages in. Made with either cow, goat or sheep milk, then mixed with brandy, or olive oil, is finally left to mature for a couple of months. Despite its pungent odor, Tupí is quite popular because it does not require refrigeration.
Specifically in Barcelona, check out Formatgeria La Seu in the Gothic Quarter or Viblioteca in Gracia for delectable, authentic cheeses. Both shops showcase a broad selection of cheese, cured meats and superb wine pairings from Spain.