Thursday, July 5, 2007

Pata Cabra: Olé!

I recently enjoyed a tasty new Spanish cheese while listening to some really bad music at Niawanda Park near the Erie Canal. Pata Cabra (alt., Patacabra) is a semi-soft, aged goat's milk cheese made in the city of Zaragoza (traditionally known as Saragossa) in the Aragon region of Spain. I thoroughly enjoyed it--the cheese, that is, not the music.

Pata Cabra is a washed rind cheese, meaning that its rind has been rinsed and scrubbed with brine several times during the aging process. In addition to keeping unwanted bacteria from growing on the outside of the cheese, this process also gives the cheese a mildly pungent flavor. It is rich and creamy and has a slightly sticky texture. This cheese would pair well with crusty breads, nuts and tapenades.

There are over 60 cheeses that are unique to Spain, but few of them are known to the tasting public. I highly recommend trying this little-known gem from Spain. I bought mine at Premier Gourmet.

NPR contributor Betsy Block offers the following Honey and Cheese Recipe as an alternative way to enjoy Pata Cabra. She says it is "absurdly easy" but "unbelievably delicious."

Ingredients:

4 slices of good bread (baguette, sourdough, something hearty and crusty)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 pound Pata Cabra cheese (or another mild Spanish goat or sheep's milk cheese, e.g., Navat)
Acacia honey
Directions:
Brush the bread with olive oil, then toast or grill it. Cover with a slice of cheese and drizzle with honey. Makes 4 servings.

5 comments:

Ira.B said...

I liked the cheese as well. I think it tastes a bit like a Manchego.

Emma said...

I'm taking this cheese to a cheese tasting and am supposed to bring a wine that would pair well with it. Does someone have a suggestion for a good wine pairing? Thanks.

Lisa said...

I love this cheese, although I cannot find it yet in the Chicagoland area markets. I tried it when I was up in Minneapolis.

Meera said...

thanks for this post. I tried this cheese at a restaurant in San Francisco this past weekend and fell in love with it. I will definitely be buying some!

Anonymous said...

Love this cheese! I buy it at Whole Foods in Massachusetts. Does anybody know the nutritional contents? Thanks.