Serra da Estrela

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This cheese was recently placed on the list of endangered cheeses. It would be a great loss to humanity were this to happen. It has been made for hundreds of years in Sistema Central, the mountain range in the middle of Portugal. The Serra Estrela is the highest mountain in the range at just below 2000 meters (6500 feet). The cheese is made with raw ewe's milk from the Bordaleira sheep and the coagulant is a vegetarian rennet derived from local thistles, a practice that goes back to the 16th century. The cheese has a crusty rind that covers a soft interior. The softer the interior, the deeper the dimple in the top. The runny inside is the reason why we can only sell this cheese as a whole (around 1.15 lbs). The flavor profile is absolutely phenomenal, deep and complex, nutty and meaty with lots of umami.