Zamorrano cheese

Zamorrano cheese. Zamorano cheese is made and cured in the province of Zamora , from milk produced by sheep from the indigenous Churra and Castilian breeds of the aforementioned province. It is one of the most popular in Spanish cuisine , counting on the protection granted by its designation of origin since 1992 .


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Protection
  • 3 Milk production
  • 4 Development and maturation of cheese
  • 5 Coagulation
  • 6 Cut and reheated
  • 7 Molded and pressed
  • 8 Salty
  • 9 Maturation
  • 10 Characteristics of cheese
  • 11 The regulatory council
  • 12 News
  • 13 Sources


Cheese is one of the oldest foods in the human diet. Its preparation in the province of Zamora could begin with the beginning of the livestock activity of its first sedentary settlers. Vestiges of this cheese – making tradition are the encellas of the Bronze Age are preserved in the Museum of Zamora , used to mold and drain the cheese. This artisan tradition was maintained throughout the centuries in the province of Zamora. References to its history are the Columella treatisethat, in the time of Roman domination, informs about the usual procedures for the elaboration and conservation of cheese. Subsequently, continuous references to this product are detected in the different jurisdictions and municipal ordinances of the towns of Zamora, in which not only rules are established on the sale of cheeses, but also on their production. There are also references in feudal agrarian contracts , in which the delivery of cheese is usually considered as part of the personal benefits that the vassal has with his lord. References to cheese also continue in the books that record tithe payments to different churches , bishoprics and monasteries.of the province of Zamora. Of special mention in this matter are the monastic foundations of Santa María de Moreruela and San Martín de Castañeda . The cadastre of the Marqués de la Ensenada , 1752 , also includes continuous references to the cattle herd and the production of cheese from the different towns of Zamorana. It is also cited in the municipal accounts for festivals and tributes to illustrious people in the cities of Zamora, Benavente and Toro, sometimes with mentions of a cheese in a pastelito format. All these historical references lead to a stale pastoral tradition and the consequent historical tradition of cheese making in the province of Zamora., both preserved today in most of its towns. The quality of the milk obtained from the sheep of autochthonous breeds and the careful elaboration of the “Zamorano Cheese”, has been the seed of its historical recognition and popularity at the national level, being currently one of the most demanded products in the province of Zamora.


The designation of origin ‘Queso Zamorano “was recognized provisionally on 16 of January of 1992 and definitively one year after the entry into force of the Order of 6 of maypole of 1993by which the Regulation of the Denomination of Origin “Zamorano Cheese” and its Regulatory Council are approved. The “Zamorano Cheese” designation of origin covers cheeses traditionally designated under this geographical name that meet its own characteristics, in compliance with the production, processing, maturation and conservation standards required by its regulations and current legislation. The protection granted extends to the name of the appellation of origin and to the geographical name of Zamora. It is therefore prohibited that other cheeses or dairy products use the names, brands, terms, expressions and signs that due to their phonetic or graphic similarity to the protected names, can lead to confusion, even when they are preceded by the terms type, taste, style, elaborated in, matured in or other analogues .

Milk production

The milk production area suitable for the elaboration of “Zamorano Cheese” is limited to all the municipal terms of the province of Zamora, provided that it is obtained exclusively from sheep of the indigenous Churra and Castellana breeds. In order that the milk destined for the elaboration of the “Zamorano Cheese” responds to its peculiar characteristics, the feeding of this sheep will respond to traditional practices, with the direct use of pastures in the production area. The characteristics of this milk are:

  • The milk will not contain any substance foreign to it, being free of colostrum, contaminants, preservatives, antibiotics or other medicinal products, etc., which may have a negative impact on the production, maturation and preservation of the cheese, as well as on the hygienic conditions and sanitary thereof.
  • The milk will be whole and clean, without any preservative and with a balanced composition, according to the following characteristics:

– Fat : Not less than 7%. – Lactose : Not less than 4%. – Proteins : Not less than 5%. – Acidity (Dornic): 23 ° C maximum. – Total dry extract : Not less than 17.5%. To obtain clean milk, with reduced contamination and microbial loadThe milking of the sheep will be carried out with the utmost care and hygiene possible. This will be kept at a temperature of between 3 and 4 ° C, to avoid microbial development, by using refrigeration techniques for cooling and preserving the milk before it is collected. Its collection and transport will be carried out in isothermal or refrigerated tanks, or any other system that guarantees that the quality and hygiene of the milk does not deteriorate.

Cheese making and maturing

The zone of elaboration and maturation of «Zamorano Cheese» coincides with the geographical area of ​​milk production. The techniques used in the manipulation of milk and cheese , the control of elaboration, maturation and conservation will follow the processes that are specifically mentioned in the regulations of this designation of origin, in any case aimed at obtaining products of the highest quality and with the traditional characters of «Zamorano Cheese».


The coagulation of milk will be caused with rennet that conforms, regarding its identity and purity, to the norm established in the Order of the Ministry of Relations with the Courts of January 14 , 1988 (Official State Gazette “of 20 For this process, the rennet dose will be the precise one, the curd temperature will oscillate between 28 and 32 ° C and the coagulation time between 30 and 45 minutes.

Cut and reheated

The obtained curd will be subjected to successive cuts until grains between 5 and 10 mm in size are obtained. Subsequently, the entire mass will be stirred and it will be reheated until it reaches, gradually, a maximum temperature of 40 ° C.

Molded and pressed

Its modeling will be done in molds that provide the characteristic shape of this cheese. These molds will have the precise size so that the cheeses, once cured, present the shape, dimensions and weight established by the regulations of this designation of origin. The pressing will be carried out in presses suitable for this purpose.


It can be wet or dry, being possible the application of both modalities. Only a maximum of 22% sodium chloride will be used and the maximum duration will be thirty-six hours in the event of immersion in brine.


The maturing and subsequent preservation of the cheeses will last no less than one hundred days from the date of molding. During this period, the necessary turning and cleaning practices will be applied until the cheese acquires its peculiar characteristics.

Cheese characteristics

The “Zamorano Cheese” is of a fatty type, made with milk from sheep of the Churra and Castellana breeds and with a minimum cure of one hundred days. The regulatory council of the denomination can authorize the use of the mention “artisan”, when the cheese has been made with raw milk, using rennet of animal origin , and in accordance with the current regulations established for this purpose to justify the aforementioned qualification. At the end of its maturation it will present the following characteristics: • Physical:

  • Shape: Cylindrical, with slightly flat faces.
  • Height: Up to a maximum of 14 cm.
  • Diameter: Up to a maximum of 24 cm.
  • Weight: Up to a maximum of 4 kg.
  • Bark: Hard, yellow, pale or dark gray in color, and well defined.
  • Paste: Firm and compact with a variable color from white to ivory-yellowish, with small or small eyes, distributed throughout the cut. Characteristic aromas and flavors, well developed and intense, persistent on the palate.
  • Physico-chemical:
  • Fat: Not less than 45% on dry matter.
  • Dry extract: Minimum 55%.
  • Total protein: Minimum 25%.
  • PH: 5.1 to 5.8.

The cheeses must have the related characteristics and their own organoleptic qualities, especially those related to color, aroma and flavor. The cheeses that have not reached, in the opinion of the regulatory council, the required characteristics may not be covered by the Denomination of Origin “Zamorano Cheese” and will be disqualified in the manner established in the regulations of this denomination of origin.

The regulatory council

The regulatory council is a decentralized body of the Ministry of Agriculture , Fisheries and Food , with decision-making powers in all the functions entrusted to it by the regulations of this designation of origin and the remaining current legislation. Its scope of competence will be determined:

  • Territorially, by the respective area of production, elaboration and maturation .
  • Because of the cheeses, by those protected by the designation of origin in any of its stages of production, processing, maturation, circulation and marketing. • By reason of the people, by those registered in the different registries of their competence: o Registry of herds. o Registry of manufacturing industries or cheese factories. o Registration of ripening and conservation premises. -The regulatory council will be made up of: • A president, appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foodat the proposal of the regulatory council. • A vice president, appointed in the same way as the president. • Five members, representing the milk producing sector, chosen by and among the owners of farms registered in the livestock register. • Five members, representing the cheese manufacturing sector chosen by and among the owners of manufacturing industries registered in the register of manufacturing industries or cheese factories. • A representative designated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and another by the Junta de Castilla y León, with special knowledge on sheep and / or dairy industries, who will attend the sessions of the regulatory council, with voice, but without vote .


The regulatory council has reached an agreement to modify its regulations, under the following premises: • New scale on milk fat and protein produced by the indigenous Churra and Castellana breeds. In this way, the use of most of the milk produced by this sheep is allowed in practice . • Exclude from the designation of origin using milk produced by sheep to Assaf . In return, specific studies will be carried out on the results of mixing milk from indigenous species with other foreign ones.. • Allow cheeses with less than 1.5 kg to be sold after 60 days, as is the case in the rest of the designations of origin, and those with more weight after 100 days. The new agreements of the regulatory council will suppose the modification of its regulation, once the requirements established for it have been surpassed, but they represent an important step in the conciliation of the will of milk producers and cheese manufacturers.

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