O Cebreiro is one of the most legendary places of the Camino de Santiago, famous for its historical past, legends and miracles ... but also for its cheese, which is one of the most famous in Galicia. This soft and grainy white cheese is made entirely from cow's milk, with no preservatives or additives.
If its flavor is distinctive so too is its shape, which has been compared to that of a toadstool or a chef's hat. But despite its long history, in the twentieth century it came close to vanishing altogether and was only remembered by a few village dwellers who made it for their own consumption. In 1991, however, its survival and status was assured when it was recognized as being a ‘Quality Product Gallego.’ Thereafter its production and fame have gone on increasing, while its exquisite quality has been scrupulously maintained. In the past, the fame of this cheese spread wide and far and this was due in large part to the pilgrims who talked of its excellence everywhere, so that the news even reached the ears of the kings of Spain.
Researchers have collected information which demonstrates that this cheese formed part of the Galician products in the eighteenth century that were commissioned by the crowns of Spain and Portugal. We also know that in 1762 it was the most expensive cheese in Spain, a pound of it fetching twelve reales and twelve pennies, the most expensive cheese in Europe, after the French 'Brie' and 'Marolles' and the Swiss 'Neufchatel'.
Today, thanks to its strong recovery in recent decades, O Cebreiro cheese has also become one of the basic ingredients of many dishes of Galician cuisine, not only as a cheese course, but also as first and second courses served in some of the best Galician restaurants. If you want to walk the Camino look and visit our website, we have various offers for you.
Photos: Commons Wikipedia (D.O.P. Cebreiro, amaianos)