Tronchon cheese is from Castellón, in the Valencian Community and it is considered a cheese of transhumance. The Natural Park of the Sierra de Espadàn has always played a vital role in local livestock farming, here cattle still come to spend the winter.
We make our artisan Tronchon cheese with raw goat milk and vegetable rennet.
The tradition of Tronchón cheesemaking
Tronchón is the traditional cheese of our territory. The origin of this artisan cheese finds its roots in past centuries. It is mentioned in the 17th-century novel Don Quijote an influential opera written by Miguel de Cervantes. This cheese is produced in the Maestrazgo, a region that extends through the provinces of Teruel, Castellón, and Tarragona.
The region where Tronchón is produced has an especially cool climate. Therefore during the winter, the shepherds take their flocks to the “Kingdom,” as the southern province of Castellón was called in past centuries. The recipe for this local artisan cheese spread throughout the province. Cheesemakers of the southern part, like Queseria Los Corrales, benefit from a milder climate, they age the cheese for a shorter period, and the texture is more creamy.
We call our cheese Tronchón del Reino (Tronchón of the Kingdom).
Why is Tronchón cheese so peculiar?
Our local cheese is made with raw goat’s milk with a maturation period of 60 to 90 days. It flaunts the traditional shape of the truncated cone and it weighs 1,000 kg.
The rind is has a dark colour and is somewhat oily, due to its treatment with virgin olive oil during the aging process.
The color is ivory-white and with small holes, and the consistency is between semi-soft and semi-hard, depending on the degree of maturity.
The texture of this cheese is somewhat stretchy and buttery and nearly melts in your mouth. It has a slightly granular texture, almost floury.
This artisan cheese presents hints of sweet notes along with its light expression of typical goat milk aromas.
On the palate, this cheese is slightly sweet with a touch of acidity. Delicate hints of artichoke can be identified, this comes from vegetable rennet used during the cheesemaking process. The aftertaste is pronounced, reminiscent of hay.
Tronchón cheese: cheese making techniques
we warm the milk to 33º C, then add the starter and vegetable rennet while stirring. Once the rennet is perfectly blended with the milk, we let the liquid rest for 40 minutes.
using a lira we cut the curd into pea-sized pieces.
Stirring and heating:
when the curd reaches the ideal texture, we gently stir for five minutes as it starts to heat. The temperature should slowly rise between one and two degrees celsius. From then on we stop the heating process and keep gently moving the curd. When the consistency of the grains becomes firm we increase the speed of agitation, until we obtain grains with the “cutting point” suitable for shaping our Tronchón cheeses.
when the curd is hard enough, we remove the whey from the vat, leaving a small portion of it so that the cheese paste does not cool down. Then we press the curd with an iron to form the curd bed.
we insert cotton gauze in the moulds and we fill them with the curd we have obtained.
we press the cheese paste for three hours and then remove the gauze. After, we turn the cheese and increase the pressure. The next day we take the formed Tronchón cheeses out of the press.
we bathe the cheeses in brine for 12 hours. Hereafter we take them out and place on shelves to drain the water.
the cheese is kept for three to five days in our airing room. We turn them every day until it forms its typical rind.
the cheeses are placed into the cellar where they will be turned at least once a week. After approximately 30 days we will coat them with olive oil.
We repeat the operation every 15 days until we decide that the cheeses are ready for the market.
Before packaging the cheeses we oil them for the last time and wrap in polyethylene film.
If you would like more information about Tronchón cheese feel free to contact us directly at the cheese factory.
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