The cheese produced in this region is called “Serra da Estrela Cheese”. This cheese originates from the roman culture. The region Serra da Estrela has both forest and pasture. The extreme climate where the green colour of spring contrasts with the coldness of the granite and winter snow is ideal for the production of this cheese.
The production of this cheese is controlled and is a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) product. This cheese is submitted to bacterial, physical and chemical analysis. After witch, the cheese is classified by taste technicians. After all the control levels above, The cheese can be officially named as “Serra da Estrela Cheese” and receives a certification mark, witch testifies its legitimacy.
Being a hand made product, it is produced from the milk of local sheep and curdled by the action of the thistle flower and some salt. After the milk coagulation by the action of the thistle flower the milk solidifies into a paste of a slow flow and is fed into the cheese press. From this process we obtain curdled milk, witch after being boiled becomes a very tasty and soft fresh kind of cheese. The cheese is then taken off the press with care using a white piece of cloth so that it does not lose its form, because of its smooth consistency. The cheese can be eaten after 45 days. At this time the cheese as a yellow crust covering a semi smooth and ivory white paste. It has a soft smell and is slightly acidic. As time goes by, the paste becomes harder, breakable and a little peppery.
The farm “Quinta da Lagoa” is a family business that produces this famous cheese. In the morning and at the end of the day, the sheep are milked and the milk is taken to the dairy and transformed into cheese. The sheep feed directly from the pasture on the farm.
The “Serra da Estrela Quinta da Lagoa cheese” has been internationally recognized since 2002 where it participated in the first mountain cheese Olympiad in Italy, witch was supported by the F.A.O., winning a silver medal in the sheep cheese category.