Recommendations: The best cheeses

Did you know that the first cheese factory only opened in Switzerland in 1853?

Smooth, soft, grated, spicy, savoury, semi-hard… there are lots of different types and origins, in fact there are more than 2,000 varieties of cheese in the world. Today we’re going to discover some of them thanks to the recommendations of our specialised cheese traders.

Have a good day! 😉

día del queso

LA MANDUCATECA

María, from La Manducateca, introduces us to a cheese called Lía, made with raw cow’s milk, in Guitiriz, Galicia. Made by María and Miguel, their cheese shares the same name as their daughter, who’s also called Lía!

It is a soft cheese, more French perhaps than Galician, which matures as the weeks go by, becoming creamier and more intense at the same time. Its rind is natural and edible, one of the so-called ‘washed rinds’.

CUARTO Y MITAD

Cuarto y Mitad is a really neat little stall in the Labayru Market, run for the last two years by Olga, a great lover of gastronomy in general and of this foodstuff in particular. Her stall may be on the small side, but she finds room for up to 38 homemade cheeses of different nationalities.

queso de Cuarto y Mitad

Olga recommends the Olavidia cheese from the Quesos & Besos cheese factory in Jaen. Produced by a married couple who inherited the dairy and went on to become masters of the new wave of artisan cheesemaking, this is a creamy free-range goat’s cheese, slightly sweet at first, with hints of fungi and mushrooms, and just a touch of acidity at the end. In November 2021, it was voted “the best cheese in the world” at the World Cheese Awards.

Olga recommends serving it with grapes, pears or indeed any other fruit and, of course, with a hunk of hearty homemade bread – never a bad idea!

Pintxo de queso del Bar Gaztandegi

BAR GAZTANDEGI

People have been known to visit this bar for one reason and one reason only: to savour their star pintxo which Jose Luis has been making for more than 15 years. The Gaztandegi is the only bar in Bilbao that specialises in cheese and their best seller is the Idiazabal Millefeuille with walnuts and honey.

Prepared with top-quality products, this pintxo strikes a perfect balance between sweet and savoury and could easily be served as a delicious dessert at a cider house.

Trufas de queso

BIZKARRA: CHEESE TRUFFLES

The Gazta Trufak they serve at Bizkarra have become the patisserie’s hallmark.

With an intense aroma and a smooth flavour that permeates each bite, these medium-cured reserva truffles are made in Urkiola.

A happy combination of sweet and savoury with a unique contrast of textures thanks to the creamy interior of the cheese emulsion and the crunchy exterior of the white chocolate. They’re now on sale online.

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SORGINZULO

If you make it to the bar of the Sorginzulo then you’ll find they have some really good cheese on the menu – 20% of the pintxos served at the bar have cheese as one of the ingredients.

On several occasions, this iconic bar in Plaza Nueva has won the Idiazabal Pintxo Contest that the Casco Viejo Traders’ Association organises every year.

They won their first txapela with a pintxo that has become an absolute must in this bar: fresh baby squid filled with Idiazabal cream cheese and apple pil pil. What a magnificent contrast of textures and flavours!

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