Garrotxa - Catalan Goat-Milk Cheese (quarter wheel, half, or whole):
Arguably the most iconic cheese being made in in the foothills of the Pyrenees in Spain’s Catalonia region, Garrotxa, also known as Pell Florida, is a firm cheese that is produced from the pasteurized milk of Murciana goats and aged in caves for three to six months. Garrotxa nearly went out of production completely and was for the most part extinct in the late 1970s, when a number of younger, eager cheesemakers formed a cooperative and began producing it again in the Garrotxa area of Catalonia (Cataluña in Spanish) in 1981.
Cheesemaker Josep Martí crafts Garrotxa in Albió, a small town perched on top of a hill. Sant Gil d'Albió, originally founded by Josep’s father Nati Ninot, is a small family owned dairy that has been producing artisan cheeses for more than 30 years. A truly nano artisan cheese producer with only 12 employees, the family specializes in making matured goat’s milk cheeses from Murciana goats, which are known to produce a dense, rich, high fat content, and very aromatic milk.
Pairs well with any red wine from Spain, medium-bodied white wines and aromatic vinos de Jerez such as fino, manzanilla, or even amontillado.
Serving Tips & Storage
The cheese can be kept either in the fridge or at room temperature. We recommend always consuming the cheese at room temperature, so it is best to remove it from the fridge several hours before eating. Slice it how you like, thin or thick, and remove the rind.
Garrotxa de Sant Gil d’Albió is a subtle charmer, offering a clean, salty, slightly acidic, yet also delicate palate that balances the milk’s sweetness nicely. The aroma offers cooked, enzymatic curds; moist, mineral notes; and a distinct herbaceous quality. The paste is a brilliant white. The rustic, bloomy rind, formed by a fungus, helps sweeten the cheese by neutralizing its acidity. The rind has a suede-like texture and distinctive gray mold, which should be removed before eating. Enjoy this cheese’s long, smooth finish replete with nutty and herbal flavors.