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Mahón

BALEAR ISLANDS
Milk of Cow
Fresh
Taste: Medium
Texture: Hard
Pasta: Semi-hard
1,2 Kg
Semi-cured
Tinto joven
DESCRIPTION

The soft version of this cheese is white, with a thin rind and lactic aroma. The semi-cured has an orange colored rind, firm paste, small holes and a more developed flavor, reminiscent of butter and roasted nuts. The cured version has a firm and hard texture. When is it quite cured, it is crumbly, with an intense flavor and long aftertaste. Its taste also reminds us of distressed wood and a curing cave.

VARIABLES

Because of the multiple varieties of curing, the exterior color of a Mahón cheese oscillates between ivory white and dark brownish-gray. In the same way, the intensity of the cheese’s flavor goes from a slight suggestion of fresh curd to a more intense, slightly salty and sharp flavor. It is peculiar, characteristic and personal for this cheese.

PRODUCT HISTORY

The history of this cheese in the island goes back to the prehistory. Remains of ceramics and other utensils used to produce it, which date back to the year 3,000 B.C., attest to this fact. Certain documentation from the 5th century A.D. has been discovered which refers to the consumption of Mahón cheese on the island. In the 13th century, its international success was notable and it was in the period of British domination when its popularity grew and it acquired its name, “Mahón”, due to the fact that the product was exported through this port.

PRODUCTION PROCESS

The cheese is produced with fresh milk, recently taken from the Friesian, Mahonan or brown-alpine cow, though it can also include up to 5% of Menorquian sheep’s milk. The milk is curdled with wild thistle pistils (Cynara cardunculos). The pieces cut out from the paste are molded placing the mixture in cotton cheesecloth called a “fogasser” which is hung from its four corners. It is places on a table and the whey is removed manually pressing the mixture and tying it up with a string called a “lligam”. Afterward, the piece is placed in a press, where a relief drawing, called “mamella”, is produced by the cloth and string. It is salted, aired and left to cure, turning it over and rubbing the rind with oil and/or paprika.

BUY CHEESE BOARDS that include this cheese
Denominación de Origen II
QUESOS FROM BALEAR ISLANDS
Mahón
SUGGESTIONS FOR GASTRONOMICAL COMBINATIONS
The semi-cured Mahón can be combined with bread and tomato, with any kind of salad and can be eaten as dessert. If it is mixed with marmalade, it is called “Jaleo”. Regarding wines, a young red is a great combination. The cured Mahón is excellent for cooking “au gratin”. Also, it goes well with roasted nuts as an appetizer. When served with fresh fruit, the grape is a wonderful companion. When thinking of the wine cellar, it is best to choose a full-bodied one.