Cheese lovers guide to the Silver Coast
Apparently, the 20th January is National Cheese Lovers Day in the United States. But, a quick internet search tells us that 27th March is International Cheese Day and that 4th June 2023 is in fact National Cheese Day in the U.S.
Well, whatever the date or purpose, today we wanted to share some tips about Portuguese cheese. We have incredible cheeses to suit many different tastes. In this article, we share some of our favourite places to visit and buy cheese on the Silver Coast.
Visit the Flor do Vale Cheese Factory in Valado de Santa Quitéria, Alfeizerão
This traditional Portuguese cheese is produced by hand, from cows and goats that graze freely. The cheese has a delicious freshness. You can visit the farm – there is a store where you can buy their products and they also sell raw milk! http://flor-do-vale.pt/
Queijo da Serra
Queijo da Serra is probably the most popular cheese in Portugal. It is a soft cheese that is produced in Serra da Estrela from sheep milk curdled with thistle flowers. When eaten young, it is satisfying gooey and creamy – ideal for slathering on to freshly baked bread. A popular way to eat this cheese is to cut the top off (like a lid), so that you can dip your spoon straight in. You can replace the “lid” if you don’t eat it all one sitting. This makes a great centre-piece for a cheese board!
Top tip: If you like your cheese runny, look out for the word amanteigado on labels and give the cheese a gentle squeeze to see how soft it is.
Serra da Estrela cheese can be found in any supermarket or local store.
Shop at the Granja de Cister, Alcobaça
This farm shop is a co-operative, with lots of local produce and artisan products. It’s a great place to pick up fresh fruit & vegetables, vinegars, oils, olives and of course cheese. It is a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs too, with everything from the local Ginjinha liquor to gift packs of wine, cheese and jams. It is open every day except Sunday.
Caldas da Rainha’s Market
This market is not just for cheese lovers. Expect to find a variety of seasonal produce, such as honey, nuts and olives. This is Portugal’s largest open air farmers’ market and it has apparently been running since the 15th century. Every morning the cobbled Praça da República is transformed by a sea of colourful umbrellas.
As you would expect, there are many places on the Silver Coast that you can visit to taste cheese or even learn how to make cheese. Here are just a few:
Cheese-making workshop: https://montebelohotels.com/en/experiences/serra-da-estrela-cheese-production-workshop
We hope you found this round-up useful. If you have some tips of your own to share, please feel to drop us a line – we are always looking to share useful tips and information with overseas visitors and buyers.