Torta Del Casar is a cheese that has always been associated to the central plains of Extremadura lands grazed by flocks of Merino and Entrefino breed sheep. These breeds, very hardy and adaptable to extreme natural environments are perfectly acclimatised to the area, obtaining their food in a totally natural manner by grazing on the nourishing pastures produced by the thin soil. However, their low milk production makes it a really scarce product in very high demand from the dairies
The productive systems intimately linked to the districts agricultural and climatic conditions are based on extensive and semi extensive grazing with food supplements of local fodder and grain when it is necessary, contribute to maintain the ecosystem with its flora and its fauna traditionally associated to steppe regions.
Torta Del Casar is an absolutely natural cheese, made exclusively with raw sheep’s milk from controlled herds, vegetable rennet using the Cynara Cardunculus plant and salt. Ripened for sixty to ninety days, during which each cheese is turned over everyday until it is ripe, sometimes having to wrap the cheeses in bandages to avoid their creamy contents pouring out of the still soft rind.
The result is a cheese with a semi hard rind obtaining a natural yellow ochre colour that may have some small cracks on its surface. The body can be soft to spreadable and is white to yellowish in colour. The fundamental and differential quality of this cheese is its Texture due to its creaminess. It presents a soft, closed and greasy cut that melts on the palate. This effect is caused by the use of the vegetable rennet as well as the final stages of ripening in the diaries, in conditions of low temperature and high humidity. Its smell is intense and its taste highly developed, hardly salty at all and slightly bitter, due to the vegetable rennet used.
Torta Del Casar is currently made in family run diaries, and historically linked to the land which has maintained the traditional way of making Torta Del Casar. Each diary commercialises their own brand with different styles and nuances. However, all of them have something in common: the guarantee of origin and quality offered by the red and gold control label around each cheese.
The cheese should be eaten at ambient temperature around 21º C. For best results, open the top of the cheese with a knife as if you were removing its lid and spread it on good bread with a rounded-ended knife. Replace the lid of the cheese after using for preservation. Another way is to cut it into two, four or six portions while it is still cold. Wrap each portion in cling plastic and only warm up the portion that is going to be used at that moment. This method of enjoying Torta del Casar has the advantage that the whole cheese will not be subject to successive changes of temperature, so it can be preserved for a longer time.
In addition, due to its special qualities, Torta del Casar can be used in recipes, as it combines perfectly with meat, fish, pasta, sauces….you can even try it combining sweet and savoury tastes in desserts and ice cream. Accompanied at any time by a good wine or champagne, it will be a pleasure to take it.