Jun 09

Torta de Barros (cheesy lover #4)

FT2 comments • 974 views

Stats: A raw sheep cheese from Spain, made with a thistle rennet.
Bought from: Brindisa
Tasting conditions: I had this for lunch, on wholemeal bread.

This cheese appears hardish, and has a slightly translucent pale yellow rind with spots of green-grey mould. It’s softer and paler inside, sticky and a little paste-like.

My first impression is that it’s surprisingly sour. Slightly pungent, very citrusy and tangy; the tartness almost overwhelms the creamy texture. There’s a bitter herbal, floral aftertaste, which reminds me of thyme – and lots of mouth-tingling flavour.

The rind is sweeter, and crumbly, with musty, mouldy aftertaste. I’m not sure if you’re meant to eat the rind of this cheese, but I like it.

I was slightly taken aback by the sour lemonish-ness of the cheese. The soft and creamy-feeling cheese fooled me into expecting something soft and creamy tasting, too, and I spent the first few mouthfuls being slightly confused. Once my brain caught up with my mouth it was all good.

Cheesy conclusion: This was really interesting cheese! And also the first cheese I’ve ever bought from Brindisa.


  1. 1
    A newly-registered but logged-out Katie on 18 Jun 2009 #

    I believe that you should tell me more about THISTLE RENNET!

  2. 2
    marna on 19 Jun 2009 #

    I know v little about this thistle rennet nonsense, other than reading in cheese-geek books that it’s a traditional, but mostly died out, sort of rennet. Veggie rennets these days are grown in labs, and made of bacteria and fungus. Veggie rennets used to be grown in fields and made of thistles and nettles and fig leaves and mallow and I think also artichokes. Actually, artichokes and thistles are both daisies, Wikipedia informs me.

    Anyhow, this particular thistle – the cardoon thistle – makes fine rennet, says the internet, and I have just discovered that Cardo is a cheese that uses it and is named after it. I *think* that I’ve had it before and it’s been a mellow-ish washed rind, but I’ll have to eat it again now, to check. OH NO!

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