We met these churra sheep at a sustainable farm just outside Zamora, Spain. The farmer grows his own wheat for the animals, breeds his own stock and makes his own Zamorano cheese.
Immediately after milking, the milk is deposited in a refrigerated tank to begin the cheese making process. Once formed into wheels, the Zamorano is salted and aged for three weeks at mild temperatures, then aged in a cold humid cave for at least six months. The result is a cheese with a high fat content and an outstanding buttery, nutty flavor. Ask for a taste of Zamorano at our cheese counter!
SPANISH WINE DINNER THURSDAY MAY 13TH AT TABERNA DEL ALABARDERO
A few seats are still available! Don’t miss this opportunity to taste eight phenomenal Spanish wines with Nicole Andrus, Spanish Specialist for Folio Fine Wine Partners. Nicole will take us through Folio’s outstanding portfolio of small estate wines. We’ll be tasting an Albariño, a white and red Rioja from superstar winemaker Alvaro Palacios, a red wine made by Mariano Garcia (formerly winemaker at Vega Sicilia for 30 years), a red from Ribera del Duero, and three outstanding Priorats.
La Taberna del Alabardero has developed a special five course menu to pair with these wines and perhaps the best part is that the price is only $58.00! (excluding tax and tip). For reservations, contact La Taberna del Alabardero 206.448.8884 and click menu to view the details.
PIKE PLACE MARKET CHEESE FESTIVAL IS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, MAY 15-16
The market’s cobblestone streets will be filled with cheesemaker’s tents, tastings and seminars this weekend. And here at The Spanish Table and Paris Grocery, we’ll be celebrating the artisanal quesos and fromages of Iberia and France. When you’re ready for a break from the throngs, come down to Western Avenue for our cheese festival!
Rhapsody in Blues
We have a medley of six Spanish blue cheeses. Here are two that will hit the right notes.
Le Bleu des Basques is one of our most requested blue cheeses. From a cooperative in the Pyrenees, this 100 percent alpine sheep’s milk cheese has fine indigo veining and a clean brebis taste. Stiltonesque and crumbly with a faint nutty sweetness, this cheese is extremely well-balanced and less salty than most blues.
Cabrales is bluer than Billie Holiday & Koko Taylor put together! This one is not for sissies, but if you are a fan of assertive and piquant blues, you will love Cabrales. Stars in many Spanish recipes; it is frequently blended with cream or olive oil and used as a sauce over steak. Enjoy with a bold, full-bodied red.
A Cheesemonger’s Dozen
Now say this list five time fast.
On Sunday, the cheese festival will feature a seminar about Basque cheese recipes making their way to the States. Here are a dozen of our favorite imported Basque cheeses:
Idiazabal, Kaikou (we’re the only ones in the country to carry this!), Etorki, Le Bleu des Basques, Vallée d’Aspe Brebis, an artisanal Ossau-Iraty, Abbaye de Belloc, Agour Piment d’Espelette, Basque d’Argental, Petit Agour, Tomme Brulée, and Isaac’s favorite, Le Basquaise.
And rounding out our “cheesemonger’s dozen” of Basque region cheeses is Vallée d’Aspe Chèvre— a goat curado that’s olivey and grassy with a caramelized, nutty finish. You can find this one at our sister store, Paris Grocery.
Special Offerings for Hard-Core Cheeseheads and People from Wisconsin
This category also doubles as the party cheese category.
La Serena gets the party started. This rich, creamy sheep’s milk cheese from Extremadura has a fruity sharpness combined with an earthy, pungent flavor.
Serpa offers complex milky notes of apricots and herbs– quite a tangy torta.
Alma is a wee goat curado with a burst of citrus flavor and a lingering goat tang finish.
Queijo de Azeitão is the cheese I’d recommend for a romantic picnic for cheese nerds. A full-flavored Portuguese sheep’s milk cheese with notes of fruits and flowers.
Afuega’l Ppitu Red melts on the palate like jalapeño cream cheese– a unique and spicy cheese.
Top 5 Cheeses I’d Take With Me To My Post-Apocalyptic Bomb Shelter
The important thing here is to have cheeses that are überlicious and keep well.
Monte Enebro would actually not keep for more than 3 weeks, but I would sooner die than live without this cheese. Monte Enebro is the bomb; if you haven’t tried it, you haven’t lived yet.
Ros just keeps on getting better with age (like George Clooney, or Steve Winston). In fact I would not eat this cheese until a little time had passed. The paste develops a crystalline, crunchy texture and has lingering notes of brown sugar. Our wheels are aged for one year.
Buenalba Iberico has the creaminess of cow milk, the nuttiness of sheep milk, and the tanginess of goat milk. A single-estate cheese made with all three types of milk!
Zamorano is a staff and customer favorite. Its popularity is due to the udders you see pictured above. The Churra sheep produce deliciously complex and flavorful milk.
Artequeso 1 Yr. Manchego is the granddaddy of Manchegos, and the best one available in the States. This is our top-selling cheese!
Queso Leonora is the winner of last year’s Seattle Cheese Festival. It’s an exceptional soft-ripened goat cheese from a small producer in Leon. Tangy and robust with a lemon zing and a lingering, electric finish.
– George and Rachel, Head Cheesemongers
OUR EXTENDED SUMMER HOURS ARE MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
NEW SPANISH WINES
2008 Benaza Godello, Monterrei ($14.99) Wines made from the Godello grape are fast becoming a hit here at Spanish Table, as customers discover the full-bodied and savory nature of these whites. The Godello is grown only in Spain and Benaza is made from 30 to 50 year old vines. Aged 2 months on the lees, it has floral aromas with flavors of citrus peel and a creamy acidity. “Dusty citrus pulp and zest aromas are complemented by notes of white flowers and quinine. Very fresh and precise but also fleshy, offering energetic lemon and orange flavors and a late note of herbs. The dry finish features good mineral snap.” 89 points Stephen Tanzer
2008 Espelt Sauló, Emporda ($11.99) One of our favorite areas of Spain is the Costa Brava north of Barcelona where this lively wine is produced. Sauló is a blend of Garnacha and Carignan with delightful aromas of smoke and red fruit. Juicy notes of fruity raspberry and cherry have a light herbalness and refreshing minerality. Well balanced, it has great lift and a long spicy finish. Excellent served with Montcabrer goat cheese from Catalonia!
2007 Del Fin del Mundo Reserva Malbec ($14.99) This is a superb 100% Malbec from Patagonia, Argentina. Aromas of ripe black fruit are focused and pure. A graceful minerality underlies rich boysenberry liqueur, earth and coffee. Full-bodied and nicely balanced, this decadent wine is best served with grilled sausages or beef tenderloin.
2006 Altozano Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon ($9.99) A blend of 65% Tempranillo and 35% Cabernet Sauvigon from La Mancha, Altozano is a fruit-driven, easy drinking red. With aromas of red fruits and blackberries, it is fresh and intense on the palate with notes of spice and a light touch of tannic grip. Partially oaked, it has a roundness on the palate with excellent balance and versatility. This is a great choice to serve with tapas.
2007 Valdueza, Extremadura ($14.99) Renowned for pure and fragrant olive oils, the Marques de Valdueza began producing wines several years ago with the help of Bordelaise winemaker Dominique Roujou de Boubee. A blend of Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot, Valdueza has aromas of dark fruits and spice. Rich in the mouth with a velvety concentration, this full-bodied red has flavors of sweet boysenberry liqueur and black licorice with silky tannins. Excellent with Jamon Serrano and Chorizo.
2007 Bramare Viña Cobos Malbec, Lujan de Cuyp Argentina ($42.00) “A lush, flattering style, with alluring blueberry, plum and boysenberry fruit flavors carried by creamy-textured tannins, flowing through a spice-infused finish. Drink now through 2011.” 92 points Wine Spectator
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