June 22, 2016 – Day 11 – São Jorge
The Spanish…..*cough*…Portuguese Cheese of the day is São Jorge!
About the Cheese:
Sourced from the civil parish of São Jorge, located on the Portuguese island of Madeira (specifically São Jorge, Santana, Madeira), São Jorge (cheese) is based on a Gouda-like recipe from Flemish sailors whom settled the isle on St. George’s Day. São Jorge is classified as a hard cheese and is produced from cow’s milk. It is aged anywhere from 4 – 6 months and therefore lacks most (if not all) lactose, making this lactose-intolerant friendly depending on each individual’s severity. Very similar Ilha Graciosa (topic of the article prior to this one), São Jorge obtains a unique flavor profile due to the volcanic properties of the island’s soil.
Tasting Notes and Pairings:
Posing as a hybrid between Gouda and Cheddar, São Jorge has a hard touch, yet with a crumbly characteristic. Small holes are also present in the pate. Alluding back to Ilha Graciosa, there is a definitive spicy and herbaceous note to this cheese as per the unique mineral composition of the soil/vegetation.
São Jorge is a cheese that would excel as the base for a fondue or stand strong on a cheese board with fresh fruit such as pears, apples, grapes or melon. A light and fruity wine (red or white) would pair best with São Jorge. Try it out with a Pinot Noir or Grigio if you are here in the U.S. If in Portugal, try it with a local vintage-sure to compliment the spicy tones of the cheese. Cheers!
Source 1 – World Cheese Book, Juliet Harbutt, New York, New York, 2009, 148.