Zamora is famous for its cheeses and produces many excellent varieties. Of these the crown belongs to Zamorano, which holds denomination origin status.

DO Zamorano is sheep’s milk cheese of the family of cheeses familiar to the British public as Manchego. It is made from the milk of two native sheep breeds, the Churra and the Castilian, with unique characteristics derived from the terrain in which they live and graze.

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The shape is a flat cylinder, very regular and proportionate, whose most common diameter and height are 20 cm and 10 cm respectively, and about 3 kg in weight. The lateral faces are straight and bear the imprint of the traditional esparto grass container used to form its shape. The colour of the rind can vary from yellow to dark brown.


The appearance of the cut is greatly influenced by the maturation time of the piece. From the sixth month, the cheese begins to sharply shape its distinctive character in relation to other sheep cheeses. With this maturation the colour of the cut is predominantly ivory with a slight yellowish tone and semi-matt surface. As the cheese increases its maturation, the colour loses its yellowish hue, from a light ivory to a dark ivory in the oldest, increasing the matte appearance of the surface. Grain-like tyrosine crystals can develop; their lighter colour, almost white, standing out notably on the cutting surface.

The surface of the cheese is scattered with holes, of mechanical origin. These vary in size with the smallest roughly equal to an alfalfa seed through to the largest, approximately the size of wheat grains.


The smell is redolent of sheep's milk, warm and pleasant, complemented with hints of cooked butter and hay in younger cheese. In mature cheeses the scent deepens and evolves to convey aromas of nuts and the spicy nuances typical of volatile fatty acids.


The mouth-feel is soft, with a very pleasant unctuous impression, somewhat adherent and with moderate elasticity in those of medium maturation, acquiring greater friability, losing elasticity and becoming more floury and granular with age.


The taste is sharp, with the perception of acid and salt among the elementary flavours and further layered with spice which intensifies and rounds the set of flavours. The aftertaste is fine, delicate and lingering.


Area of Production Province of Zamora, Spain
Milk Type Non pasteurised (raw) and pasteurised
Cheese Type Pressed curd
Shape Cylindrical
Cylindrical From 18 to 22 cm in diameter by 8 to 12 cm in height
Weight Variable, between 1 and 4 Kg.
Rind Hard, from yellowish to dark-brown; with impressions from the mould (“flor”) on both faces and from the esparto gauze (pleitas) on the sides.
Texture Firm, compact, dense and of anivory colour
Eyes Few and dispersed asymmetrically
Fat Content Minimum 50%
Production Handmade and industrial
Aging Minimum 100 days and up to 12 months
Presentation Conserves its external natural charateristics, Legally labelled in factory, Casein seal and back label from the Regulating Local Cheese Council