This cheese is from a village located in the mountains north of Barcelona and is named after the cheesemaker’s son. The goats are raised on hills that are about 5k from the Mediterranean and feed on the natural flora which imparts a unique savory flavor. The paste is creamy and becomes more complex with age.
Sant Mateu is made in the hamlet of Vilassar de Dalt, north of Barcelona, by Cheesemaker Josef Quixart, with milk from his own herd. Unlike most washed-rind cheeses the rind on the Sant Mateu is not damp and sticky but a dry golden to orange color due to the proliferation of Brevibacterium linens. This friendly, flavor-enhancing bacterium can be present naturally in the cheesemaking facility, but most cheesemakers add it to the brine used for washed-rind cheese to encourage its growth. As with all washed rind cheeses the rind is not edible.
The paste inside it is chalky but creamy, yet crumbly similar to a young cheddar. It taste fruity, sweet, slightly herbed and nutty and like cooked milk with very little acidity. The older the cheese becomes the creamier and more aromatic it becomes.
Perfect before or after meals. Serve it with crusty bread or crackers or with sweet wine and jam it is delicious either way.
Pairs well with light fruity reds or sweet white wines.
Milk Type: Goat
Age: 2 – 3 months