Évora Cheese (DOP)

Évora or Queijo de Évora is a Portuguese gourmet cheese with a yellowish color that becomes gloomy in contact with air. This is a cured cheese made from raw sheep's milk, presented with a hard (60g & 90g; 120g & 200) or semihard (200g & 300g) consistency, of smooth rind.The paste is softer than the rind but has the same color, a very light yellow.

It has the aroma of a pasture and a creamy flavor of oats and fresh hay, little salty with fruity tones with a slightly acidic finish. The older the taste the sheepier the flavor becomes of this gourmet cheese. There is no rennet in this cheese and it is bound with thistle flower. This cheese is produced in the town of Évora in the Alentejo region (southern Portugal). Production begins in November and peaks in March and April. Sometimes these cheeses are preserved in olive oil and are then less hard.

The city was designated Ebora Cerealis during the Roman empire, gained the name Liberalitas Julia during the period of Emperor Julio Cesar. At the time it was an important city, as one can see looking at the ruins of the classical temple and the vestiges of the Roman fortress walls. It was conquered to the Moors in 1165 by Geraldo Sem Pavor (Geraldo, the Unfrightened), the year he restored his diocese. It was a royal residence, mainly during the reigns of king João II, king Manuel I and king João III. Its prestige was particularly relevant during the XVI century, when it was promoted to ecclesiastical capital and when the University of Évora was founded (subordinated to the Jesus Company) by Cardinal Infant Henrique, first Archbishop of the city. This was extinguished in 1759 (and would only be restored approximately two centuries later), after the Jesuit expulsion of the country due to an order given by Marquês de Pombal. Évora testifies the diverse styles and aesthetics and has collected throughout the years such important works of art that it has been classified by UNESCO, in 1986, as World Heritage.

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