Il Portale del Formaggio
Queso de la Murcia
|Name of Group of Producers||Inspection Body|
|Agrupación formada por las asociaciones profesionales agrarias y asociaciones siguientes: UPA, ADEA-ASAJA, CRJA, FUARM, Aquemur,
Acrimur y Fecoam
Avda. de Levante, 53, Entlo. 9 "Ed. Gèminis"
30520 Jumilla (Murcia)
CONSEJO REGULADOR DE LAS DENOMINACIONES DE ORIGEN "QUESO DE MURCIA Y QUESO DE MURCIA AL VINO"
AVDA. DE LEVANTE, 53, ENTLO, 9
Edif.Gèminis 30520 - JUMILLA (Murcia)
|Date of Publication: 06.09.01||Date of Registration: 25.06.02|
Fresh: A non-matured, full-fat cheese, made with Murcian goats' milk. The cheese is cylindrical in form, between 5 cm and 8 cm high, with a diameter of 7 cm to 9 cm and a weight of about 300 g or between 8 cm and 12 cm high, with a diameter of between 12 cm and 18 cm and a weight of
1 kg or 2 kg. The rind is extremely thin and carries the imprint of the esparto matting used in the
cheese's production. The cheese is lightly pressed but not cooked. When cut, the cheese is dense and virtually without holes yet soft and is vivid white in colour. The cheese is very slightly salty and has a mild aroma.
Matured: A full-fat cheese, pressed but not cooked, made with Murcian goats' milk. The cheese is
cylindrical in form, between 7 cm and 9 cm high, with a diameter of between 12 cm and 18 cm and a weight of 1 kg or 2 kg. The rind is smooth, with no imprint, the colour ranging from waxen
to ochre. The interior is dense and firm, white or slightly yellowish in the most mature cheeses, with a few small holes and has a mild smell. It is marketed from 60 days after manufacture.
The milk used in the production of Queso de Murcia is produced in all the municipalities of the Province of Murcia in south-east Spain.
The cheese is manufactured and matured in the production area of the milk.
The topography and landscape of the area are very varied and enjoy particular climatic conditions (sub-tropical Mediterranean climate with low rainfall and high temperatures, generally saline soils and scant water resources). The area is generally scrub or pastureland. Scrub rich in Labiatae and Cistaceae is very common and provides the principal source of food for goats in dry, mountainous areas.
The milk is obtained under hygienic conditions using hand or mechanical milking. The milk is filtered and then coagulated using animal rennet or other authorised enzymes.
Then, according to the type of cheese:
Fresh cheese: The milk is coagulated at 32 °C to 35 °C for 30 to 45 minutes. The curd is cut into
10 mm diameter granules and then heated to bring the temperature up to 3 °C to 5 °C above the
coagulating temperature. The curd is worked very lightly until a soft consistency is achieved and
then placed in moulds lined with esparto matting. Where appropriate, the cheese is pressed lightly for a short while before salting for a maximum of ten hours with saline solution of a maximum of 16° Bè. After draining, the cheese is maintained at a temperature of no more than 4 °C.
Matured cheese: The milk is coagulated at 30 °C to 34 °C for 40 to 60 minutes. The curd is cut into 5 mm diameter granules and then heated to bring the temperature up to 3 °C to 5 °C above the coagulating temperature. The curd is worked intensively until a hard consistency is achieved and then placed in patternless moulds. The cheese is pressed for two to four hours until the correct pH level is reached before salting for a maximum of 20 hours with saline solution of a maximum of 20° Bè. It is matured for a minimum of 60 days.
Traditionally, fresh goats' milk cheese has been made throughout Murcia for home consumption or for sale in nearby villages, markets or bars. At the end of the 19th century, Murcian goat-breeders began to specialise in dairy production. The first references to established industrial processing date from the twenties and by the mid-nineties there were 17 cheese factories in the region, processing 52 % of the region's goats' milk production.