Queijo de Evora or Evora is a DOP protected semi hard-unpasteurised sheep’s milk cheese from the town of Evora in Southern Portugal. The milk used to make the cheese is from Merino ewe, a breed more popular for its wool. Production for this cheese starts in November and peaks in March and April when milk production is at its highest.
The inedible rind and pate of Evora is delicate, pale yellow and quite meaty. Flavours mirror the green pastures and the thistle flower used to coagulate milk. It passes on a slightly bitter but not distasteful flavour to the cheese. This is contrasted by salty, fruity notes and a citrusy tang. As Evora ages, these flavours become more distinct and commanding.
Crisp whites and light to medium-bodied red wines compliment the sharp taste of the cheese. Because of its high-salt content, Evora particularly suits salads.
Other cheeses from Portugal: