Sao Jorge cheese is a traditional cheese from the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
Made from raw milk from the island’s grass-fed cows, Sao Jorge cheese is known for its sharp, nutty flavor and firm texture. It’s a versatile cheese that can be enjoyed on its own or used in cooking.
However, finding a reputable source for purchasing Sao Jorge cheese can be a challenge. In this article, we will provide detailed information on the different types of Sao Jorge cheese available, where to buy it, and how to choose a quality product.
Types of Sao Jorge Cheese
Traditional Sao Jorge Cheese
Traditional Sao Jorge cheese is made using raw milk from the island’s grass-fed cows. The milk is heated and then coagulated with rennet, a natural enzyme.
The curds are then cut and pressed, before being soaked in brine and left to mature for several months.
The flavor of traditional Sao Jorge cheese is sharp and nutty, with a firm texture. It pairs well with a variety of wines, including reds and whites.
Aged Sao Jorge Cheese
Aged Sao Jorge cheese is made using the same process as traditional Sao Jorge cheese, but is left to mature for a longer period of time. This results in a more intense flavor and a harder texture.
The flavor of aged Sao Jorge cheese is stronger and more complex, with a nutty, salty taste. It pairs well with full-bodied red wines, such as a Port or Madeira.
Smoked Sao Jorge Cheese
Smoked Sao Jorge cheese is made using the same process as traditional Sao Jorge cheese, but is then cold-smoked over wood chips. This imparts a smoky flavor and aroma to the cheese.
The flavor of smoked Sao Jorge cheese is smoky and nutty, with a firm texture. It pairs well with robust red wines, such as a Syrah or Zinfandel.
Where to Buy Sao Jorge Cheese
There are many online retailers that sell Sao Jorge cheese, including specialty cheese shops and grocery stores. One of the benefits of buying from an online retailer is that you have a wide selection of Sao Jorge cheeses to choose from.
Additionally, you can often find deals and discounts on the cheese. However, one of the downsides is that you won’t be able to inspect the cheese before you buy it.
Specialty Cheese Shops
Specialty cheese shops are a great place to buy Sao Jorge cheese as they often have a wide selection of high-quality cheeses. The staff at these shops are usually knowledgeable and can provide you with information on the cheeses they carry.
However, they may have limited stock and can be quite expensive.
Buying Sao Jorge cheese directly from local producers is a great way to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product. These producers often use traditional production methods, which can result in a more flavorful cheese.
Additionally, you will be supporting local farmers. However, it can be difficult to find local producers and their products may not be available year-round.
International retailers often carry a wide selection of Sao Jorge cheeses and may have access to rare varieties that are not available elsewhere. However, they may be more expensive and the cheeses may have been transported over long distances, which can affect their quality.
How to Choose a Quality Sao Jorge Cheese
When choosing a Sao Jorge cheese, it’s important to pay attention to the following factors:
- Appearance and texture: The cheese should have an even color and a firm texture.
- Flavor and aroma: The cheese should have a nutty, sharp flavor and a pleasant aroma.
- Age and production method: The age and production method can affect the flavor and texture of the cheese.
- Price: Sao Jorge cheese can vary in price, but it’s important to remember that the most expensive cheese isn’t always the best.
Sao Jorge cheese is a traditional cheese from the Azores that is known for its sharp, nutty flavor and firm texture. When purchasing Sao Jorge cheese, it’s important to choose a reputable source.
Online retailers, specialty cheese shops, local producers, and international retailers all carry Sao Jorge cheese, but they each have their own pros and cons. To choose a quality cheese, pay attention to the appearance and texture, flavor and aroma, age and production method, and price.
By following these tips, you can find a Sao Jorge cheese that meets your taste and budget.
What is the difference between traditional, aged, and smoked Sao Jorge cheese?
Traditional Sao Jorge cheese is made using raw milk and is left to mature for several months. Aged Sao Jorge cheese is made using the same process, but is left to mature for a longer period of time.
Smoked Sao Jorge cheese is made using the same process as traditional Sao Jorge cheese, but is then cold-smoked over wood chips, which imparts a smoky flavor and aroma.
Is Sao Jorge cheese pasteurized?
It is not specified if traditional Sao Jorge cheese is pasteurized or not, but most of the time traditional methods don’t include pasteurization.
What is the best way to store Sao Jorge cheese?
Sao Jorge cheese should be wrapped in wax paper or aluminum foil and stored in the refrigerator. It can be stored for up to 6 months.
Can Sao Jorge cheese be frozen?
Yes, Sao Jorge cheese can be frozen. However, it’s important to note that freezing can affect the texture and flavor of the cheese.
It’s best to consume the cheese within a few months of freezing.
Are there any health benefits associated with eating Sao Jorge cheese?
Sao Jorge cheese, like many other types of cheese, is a good source of calcium and protein. It also contains other nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin B12.
However, it also contains high levels of fat and salt, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.