Ibores is a semifirm goat’s milk cheese rubbed with paprika, making for a stunning contrast with its ivory interior. Walking the fine line between moist and dry, Ibores has a unique texture for a raw goat’s milk cheese.
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Ibores cheese is one of the most emblematic products from Extremadura – the rugged and least developed region of Spain. Its flavor is reminiscent of a countryside of vast open wilderness, where rockrose, heather, thyme and thickets grow rampant.
The local stock of Serrana, Verata, and Retinta goats are well adapted to the region and thought to be introduced by the Moors centuries ago when they occupied much of Spain.
The cheese is traditional pressed cheese and of medium moisture, with a ripening time of 3-4 months or longer.
Traditionally, the cheese was made with no added culture, working only with the natural bacteria of the milk and milking environment. However, due to fermentation problems over the years, many producers have switched to using prepared cultures to improve the success of this cheese. Unfortunately, some folks with long taste memories have begun to notice a drift in flavor and aroma from this change in process.
The most unique quality of the cheese is the orange-red rind due to the coating of the surface with the local smoked paprika and the olive oil, both of which are produced in the area.
The flavor and aroma of this smoky paprika blends well with the bright supple character of the cheese. Over the time that the cheese spends in the aging room, this flavor permeates the cheese.