In the Azores nine islands the cheeses multiplied in quantity, flavours and textures, it is certainly the region of Portugal that focuses the greater diversity of cheeses.
São Miguel island cheese is aged for 9 months-which explains its intense and spicy flavour, akin to a quality Parmesan and that gets even better with age – has a honeyed colour and a smooth and soft texture and is at its best when consumed at room temperature.
It goes extremely well with salads, eggs, and pasta, or just over a slice of good rustic bread, being also a perfect complement to a glass of quality Port, Madeira, dry Red or White wines and even the unique “Pico” fortified wine from its land.
Cheese began to be produced in the Azores as soon as the first settlers arrived in the mid 15th century, owing to the climate and soil conditions that make for excellent pastures. Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, the Azores has a mild, damp climate and, due to its volcanic geology, a rich fertile soil that supports abundant vegetation – hence its beautiful meadows of tall grass that offer perfect conditions for breeding more 20,000 dairy cows producing the top-quality milk that goes into the production of its cheeses, of which 3 types have are DOP certified: "São Jorge”, “São Miguel” and “Old São Miguel”.
São Jorge DOP is the most famous of them, and so important it is to the economy of the São Jorge Island, where it comes from, that the Fraternity of São Jorge was founded in 1991 to protect, promote and develop that region, within sustainable principles that can ensure the excellence of the final product.
São Miguel DOP comes from the green island of São Miguel, the largest and most populated of the archipelago and has a slightly spicy taste to it, similar to the best varieties of Italian Parmesan.
São Miguel, Açores: