Meet Monte Enebro

David | Blog | February, 17 2011 | No Comment

It’s time for another installment of I Never Met a Cheese I Didn’t Like, and today we visit our Spanish friend Monte Enebro. 

Spain is among the warmest, and most rugged of the important cheese producing nations of Europe. Subsequently, its cheese tradition includes a good number of cheeses made from goats milk, sheeps milk, or blends of milks, including cows milk.  Monte Enebro is a goats milk cheese made in Avila, near Madrid,  by a single producer, Rafael Baez and his daughter Paloma.

This Spanish goat wears its blue mold on the rind.

According to CULTURE magazine, “the Baezes produce Monte Enebro using penicilium roqueforti, the same mold used to make Roquefort. However, rather than piercing the cheese, which would allow blue veins to develop throughout, the blue mold develops on the rind of the cheese, adding to Monte Enebro’s complex flavors and distinctive appearance. When young, the interior paste of the cheese is pure white and slightly chalky and brittle in texture. With age, the paste tends to break down and become runny and almost translucent just under the rind.”

Murray’s Cheese Shop of New York adds:

“The damp, cakey, acidic paste near the rind is fierce, with unmistakable overtones of black walnut. Inside, the core remains salty, lactic, and soothing. A relatively new cheese on the scene, Monte Enebro won top goat cheese in Spain in 2003.”

CULTURE notes that the younger cheeses (it is aged just 21 days) are bright and tangy in flavor and that more earthy, barnyard flavors enter after an extra month or so.

Most experts, including author Max McCalman, recommend pairings with sweet wines, like Sauternes, Spanish Sherries or Pinot Gris. I’ve found that this kind of goat cheese does well with sweeter, strong Belgian and Belgian-style beers including Westmalle Triple, or Goose Island’s Matilda. Another option that might work is a Baltic porter, or even an outstanding weisse beer. My favorite German weisse beers include Ayinger Brau-Weiss and Franziskaner, but there are loads of great American interpretations too.

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