Monday, November 23, 2015

Big Cheese

Hi Kids,
Have you ever been to a cheese museum?  This building is over a hundred years old and it used to be a house where shepherds lived. They kept their sheep out in the hills and would watch them every day. And they milked them, just like people milk cows. And they made cheese from the milk.   
These are Merino sheep -- the kind that make the milk that my new favorite cheese is made from.  The tree is an olive tree.  Did you know olives grow on trees?  I thought they came out of jars!
This is what the kitchen looked like when the shepherds lived here. The big pot is the stove -- they would build a fire under it. This doesn't look like our kitchens today, does it? The lady at the museum let me sit in the child's chair. The mother would have sat in the other chair and stirred the pot.
After we visited the cheese museum house, we went to a modern factory where they make the cheese today.
Everybody had to wear hairnets and aprons and shoe covers and gloves so everything would stay very clean. They didn't have any my size, so I had to wait outside while Miss Elaine went in. When she came back, there was a nice surprise.
We got to sample several kinds of cheeses that they make here.  Yum!
This is Ricardo Vivas. He is holding a torta del Casar (cah-SAHR) -- that kind of means "cake from Casar" -- because it is round and flat like a cake. But it's not cake -- it's cheese. The outside is called the rind -- you don't eat that part -- but when you slice the top off.......
Inside is wonderful, creamy cheese! It's the consistency of pudding but it's not sweet. It's cheesy -- a little salty, a little stinky--in a good way-- and it's wonderful. It is only made in a tiny area in Spain and only eight family businesses make this cheese so it's very hard to get in the United States. I hope Miss Elaine will take me back to Spain some day so I can have some more torta del Casar!

We had lots of good food on this trip but I liked this cheese -- and all the desserts -- best!

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