Spanish Cheese Fair in Galicia

Spanish-Cheese-FairDeep in the heart of “Green Spain” is Galicia, renowned for its ancient forests high atop mountains and green pastures as far as the eye can see. Hence, it is no surprise that Galicia is the largest producer of fine cheese in all of Spain. Galicians have proudly flaunted this for the past three decades in their annual cheese fair, Feria de Queso de Arzúa, held the first Sunday in March.

Grand festivities converge on this charming town with this gastronomic springtime celebration, playing tribute to the wide range of rich and creamy cheeses produced in this area attracting everything and anything to do with food and drink on this special day, and anything and everything to do with a good time! Great music and dancing fill the streets of Arzúa late into the night.

The lovely village of Arzúa is located in the centre of Galicia in the province of A Coruña. Arzúa is one of the many stop-overs for the inspired pilgrims travelling the historic Road to Santiago de Compostela. Here, as in all of Galicia, the rich and fertile land offers unbeatable conditions for livestock breeding, especially cows, which greatly benefit from the climate and the green pastures for its grazing.

The most notable Galician cheeses from cows milk are: Tetilla, Arzúa-Ulloa, Cebreiro, San Simón and cheese from Nabiza. Each are creamy and delicious and stand alone, all you need is a nice glass of wine or cider to add to the decadence! Each traditional cheese is either industrially produced, made on farms, or cured. The different processes contribute to the distinct taste of the cheese. The artisan production process of cheese still exists in Galicia and is usually just sold at fairs, local markets and directly to the consumer.

Many Spaniards may argue that their region is the most renowned for fine cheese production. The diversity among the different types (and price) of Spanish cheese is vast, but one thing is a given….. all are ripe with rich flavour and are fantastic. Depending on your palette and preference of goat, sheep or cow cheese….cured or uncured, there will be one to your liking and the search will be worthwhile.

In true Spanish tradition, you can count on the fact that each region has their own cheese fair and will boast featuring the best cheese of Spain.

Here are a few other fairs featuring fine cheese:

Feria del Queso Artesano de Pesquera (Cantabria)
Feria del Queso en Miranda de Ebro (Near Bilbao)
Feria del Queso de Euskal Herria & Feria Europea del Queso Ordizia (Basque Country)
Semana del Queso artesano San Telmo (Ibiza)
Feria del Queso Artesano (Madrid)
Feria del Queso de cabra de Acehúche and Freia del Queso de Trujillo (Extremadura)
Feria del Queso de Cangas de Onis, Feria del Queso de San Lorenzo de Ribadesella, Feria de Queso de Taramundi (Asturias)
Feria do Queoxp de Betanzosa, Feria del Queso de Friol, Feria del Queso de San Simón da Costa (Galicia)

Yet, Arzúa is hands down the most popular fair of them all. Thousands of cheese lovers go there each year to taste the many varieties of highly valued rich creamy cheese delicacies in a day devoted to cheese tasting and celebration.

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