The sheep freely graze for months and months until, once the time to make the cheeses arrives, they are taken to graze on certain, predetermined lands. All great artesian cheeses have their optimum production period. Once the liquid from two daily milkings has been collected, it is heated to some 25ºC (77ºF). It is curdled with wild thistle and the curd is broken up by hand to obtain small pieces, almost like a puree. It is left to settle and is decanted. The traditional mold which gives the cheese its shape is an esparto belt which will give a pattern in the rind. It is salted on both sides as the belt is removed. Afterward, the cheeses are placed on a bed of sticks, whose pattern will be reflected on both sides of the wheel. There is where a long, silent curing process begins and perhaps where the cheese is miraculously converted into a torta.