Arzúa-Ulloa cheese is one of the Galician cheeses par excellence, widely spread throughout central Galicia, although originally its production was basically centred in the municipalities of the southeast of A Coruña, the west of Lugo and the northeast of Pontevedra, receiving different names depending on the areas and historical moments, among others: Arzúa cheese, Ulla cheese, A Ulloa cheese, Curtis cheese, Chantada cheese, Friol cheese or Lugo cheese.
It is a cheese made from raw or pasteurised cow’s milk which, after a production process that includes the stages of coagulation, cutting and washing of the curd, moulding, pressing, salting and maturing, acquires the following characteristics:
Its maturation period is at least six days. Its shape is lenticular or cylindrical, with rounded edges, with a diameter between 100 and 260 mm. and a height between 50 and 120 mm. At no time may the height be greater than the radius. The weight will range from 0.5 to 3.5 kg. The rind is thin and elastic, medium to dark yellow, shiny, clean and smooth. The paste is of a uniform colour, between ivory white and pale yellow, with a shiny appearance, without cracks, and may have small, small, angular or rounded eyes of irregular distribution.
It is prepared as follows:
Coagulation is carried out with animal rennet at a temperature of 30 to 35 °C for 30 to 75 minutes, depending on the conditions of the milk and the rennet.
The curd should be cut in such a way that the grain size of the curd is the size of a grain of corn (5-10 mm in diameter). Afterwards, the curd is washed with drinking water to lower the acidity of the curd so that the pH of the processed product is not lower than values between 5.0 and 5.5.
The moulding is carried out in cylindrical moulds. The pressing time used will vary depending on the pressure applied and the size of the pieces.
Salting is carried out in the vat on the curd and/or by introducing the cheeses in brine. It should be kept refrigerated to avoid undesirable microbiological alterations. The cheeses will not remain in it for more than 24 hours.
Ripening takes place in rooms with a relative humidity of between 75 and 90 per cent and a temperature of less than 15 °C. The minimum maturation period for cured cheeses is six months. During the ripening process, the cheeses will be subjected to the turning and cleaning practices necessary for them to acquire their particular characteristics.
This Denomination covers three different types of maturities: cheese matured for 6 days, called Arzua Ulloa Soft Cheese; cured cheese matured for 4-6 months, called Turnip Cheese or queixo dos tempos dos nabos.
Because consumers increasingly value products with tradition and genuineness, we value the authenticity of each of the flavours that transport us to specific places, to past moments.