FOUR generations down the line, the artisanal cheeses at the Queseria Sierra Crestellina are perfected with knowledge and expertise that extend far beyond the production belt.

The factory doesn’t look that impressive, but therein lies it’s secret, the element of surprise… Behind it’s unassuming exterior you are drawn into the irresistible, delicate flavours of its produce.

Inheriting the trade from his parents, Juan Ocana explains that the small family business works so well because of an effective use of its surroundings.

Goats can be seen climbing the steep mountain wall behind the cheese factory or being herded lower down, grazing only on natural grass.

Their milk is used to make day-old fresh cheese (€8/kg), two-month-old semi cured (€10/kg) or four-month-old cured cheeses (€12 /kg) along with yoghurt and – wait for it – soap.

The queseria’s shop also sells other pure-organic products from the area, such as; marmalade – made by one of Juan’s friends – honey and locally-made chocolate.

For those seeking more than just the food, there are guided tours of the farm and factory, workshops, cheese pairings and tastings.

Tom Powell

About Tom Powell

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