pairs tradition with innovation
benefiting from the best of each of them. The know-how of the master cheesemakers, honed over generations, comes together with a modern, efficient, standardised and safe production that meets de consumer’s requirements.
The milk comes from local flocks that graze on the landscapes of the region, one of the best preserved environments in Europe.
Each day the cycle is repeated, so that these delicious cheeses end up on our table. The milking is the first task and takes place at sunrise and again at sundown, in a cyclic rhythm, day after day.
The next step is the straining. Traditionally, the milk was strained through filters, named “coadouros”, made of wool. It was from these woollen cloths that the traditional expression “rouparia” originated. The salt is added, a delicate operation that requires great sensitivity, as it determines the coagulation time and the softness of the curd.
The milk is heated and the infusion made from cardoon flower - a 100% natural coagulating agent, acknowledged for its digestive and nutritive properties – is carefully added. This stage is crucial to the homogeneity of the mix and to the quality of the paste obtained.
The next step is the cutting of the curd, which is by no means random. The movements are sacred, ordained by generations of cheesemakers, in crisscross movements, drawing squares or forming spirals.
The francela is a tilted stainless steel stable where the whey is slowly drained. The paste is pressed, inside and outside the cloth, by the experienced hands of the cheesemaker, until it is ready to be placed in the moulds. The whey that runs off in this stage is later used in the Requeijão (a loose, ricotta-like cheese) and in the Almece (made from the boiling of that whey).
The cheeses are then ready for the ripening stage, at different temperatures and moisture contents, so that in the end they reach the perfect consistency and reveal their extraordinary quality.