Garrotxa: An Invitation to Catalonia
July 6, 2010
Garrotxa is a firm goat cheese from Spain. It is produced in the Catalonia region of Northern Spain. Garrotxa is made with pasteurized goat’s milk and is aged for 4 months.
This cheese shows the colors of high mountains–beautiful shades of grey, brown, and beige. Garrotxa’s interior is light and pale, the color of cooked pasta. Its inedible rind is rough like a stone, with flecks of brown, grey, tan and white.
This cheese looks weathered yet its texture is moist and slightly springy. Garrotxa’s interior has small, irregular-shaped holes. It cuts easily into thin, translucent slices.
Garrotxa’s aroma is difficult to pinpoint. The interior of the cheese has a pleasant cheese aroma that is neither stinky nor bland. Its rind smells of minerals (Jacob suggested salt) and is slightly metallic. The rind reminded me of mineral water and iron pipes.
Garrotxa is creamy on the tongue. Its mouth feel is closer to the Pyrenees sheep’s milk cheeses we have tasted. Its nutty flavors are pronounced at the start and get stronger towards the finish. The flavors do not linger on the tongue, yet the cheese’s interesting flavors invite further sampling. Jacob likened its flavors to sour butter, but this seems negative for an otherwise delicious cheese.
Garrotxa is an inviting and fool-proof cheese. It has a lovely color, aroma and flavor that invites sharing. It is understated enough to mix well with other cheeses on a plate, yet has distinct charm. It is guaranteed to provide interest but will not overwhelm. We all liked this cheese and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again.