List Item: Try three quarters of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
Other than the Serra Da Estrela I don’t know if I have ever spent so much on a single piece of cheese (this is likely to change with some of the remaining cheeses). On face value you would be excused into thinking that this would be one of those really strong cheeses. On first smell of the cheese through the rind you would think it was one of those really strong cheeses. However, the taste is milder than you would first think.
Don’t get me wrong, it is still a stronger cheese than most. It’s got a fairly high acidity that gives you that prickly feeling over the roof of your mouth. The taste veers between slightly buttery and slightly bitter depending on how far away from the rind you are and how long it has been sat outside of the fridge.
Speaking of which, this is one of those cheeses that tastes better at room temperature. I have seen that some people like to have this left out for two days before consuming it… but I can’t do that to cheese.
So this is a very different cheese to the Torta del Casar. If, off the top of my head, I had to come up with a cheese that this reminds me the most of it would be crowdie. This is a lot firmer and fresher than the crowdie and, like the name ‘pitu’ suggests in Spanish, slightly more cloying. It’s one of those cheeses where, despite the density of the curds, you can find yourself eating a whole lot of it.
Now, I am not sure how different my experience of this cheese would have been if I had picked up the round or the red version. The red version contains paprika, so obviously that would have had a bit of a punch to it. The rounder version is less dense and can, apparently, be a bit grainy. So… I think I got the best of both words by buying the white atroncao variation.
I know. This isn’t technically a cheese. It’s on the dairy section of the list, but since ‘dairy products of Barcelona’ doesn’t sound too punchy I’ll just call it a cheese.
So what is cuajada? It’s like a glistening and jiggly mass of milk. It’s pretty much like a milk jelly and tastes how you would expect milk jelly to taste. Milky.
The packet I made the cuajada with seemed to suggest that this is served with something sweet so I spooned on some syrup from the green walnut gliko jar I had in the cupboard. The transformation in flavour after adding a little bit of syrup was huge.
Oh did I mention that I had to make this using instructions I Google Translated from Spanish? Then from Portuguese as the Spanish instructions didn’t mention why I wold need a whisk? The things I do for these food items.