Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oriol de Montbrú

A dense and dreamy little wheel of cheese, ours came with a patchwork of bright yellow mold on the outside as vibrant as spring mustard in bloom. Creamy and mild at first, the flavor slowly develops complexity to become the curious and charismatic Spanish party guest that captures your imagination.

This semi-firm pasteurized buffalo milk cheese is made by Formageries Montbru in the Catalonia region of Spain. Buffalo milk is rare in Spain, but thanks to a Northern Italian with too many buffalo on his land, 1,500 head were relocated to a nature preserve in Catalonia and Oriol de Montbru was born.

Pere and Imma began making goat cheese in 1989 with milk fr
om their own herd at their farmhouse Montbrú in Moià, (Barcelona). Their son Oriol joined them 7 years later and has since taken over as cheesemaker. It was Oriol who took on the project of developing buffalo milk cheeses and the first one he has chosen is young, creamy, sweet and very versatile. Aged 20 days, it is a small wheel with a slight covering of blue-gray mold, very similar to Garrotxa. Each wheel is wrapped in paper and attractive Raffia. Serve on a cheese plate alongside honey, dried or fresh figs, with fruits such as pears and sweet, mild apples.

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