Bica de Queijo
Country of origin: Portugal
Region: Póvoa de Lanhoso
Type: semi-soft, artisan
Fat content: 45%
Flavour: buttery, mild, salty
Alternative spellings: bag of cheese, Queijo de Bica, Bolsa de queso
Bica de Queijo is a Portuguese unpasteurised cheese made from a blend of 70 percent goat's milk, 25 percent cow's milk and 5 percent sheep's milk. It is produced in Póvoa de Lanhoso in Minho region, north of Portugal. The name loosely translated means "bag of cheese" and that’s what it looks like. When the curd is fresh, it is wrapped and twisted in a cheese cloth to ripen for at least five or six weeks. But the imprints of the cloth remain, giving the cheese its name.
Bica de Queijo is a farmhouse gourmet cheese with a characteristic yet mild, buttery flavour and a smooth texture. The cheese is slightly salty because the milk comes from animals that graze on land near to the seashore. Due to the presence of goat's milk, the cheese is slightly goaty with a pleasing creamy and chewy texture. The rind is smeared with paprika and wine, and not edible. Bica de Queijo can be enjoyed from young to aged. Its flavour remains the same but the texture varies markedly. It is best enjoyed with a glass of medium-bodied red wine or with a dry white and fruity red wine like Pinot Noir or Sangiovese.