La Dama Sagrada, or 'sacred lady,' hails from Spain’s La Mancha region, where not only did many an epic battle occur between Don Quixote and countless windmills, but also where sheep’s milk Manchego cheeses rule the land. And yes, the creamery where La Dama Sagrada is made does in fact make Manchego, but it also makes this gem of a cheese from a milk brought over from a nearby Murciano goat farm in the town of Carpio de Tajo, just outside of Toledo. The goats belong to a cooperative of farmers who also are members of the dairy that makes the cheese. La Dama Sagrada is rare solely by the fact that it is a raw goat’s milk cheese, as even just a few years ago, you did not see too many of them imported into the United States.
To make this cheese, the goat’s milk curds are first cooked until firm, drained and put into the same molds used for making Manchego, then pressed and brined aged a minimum of six months. The outside of the La Dama Sagrada’s wheels also look very similar to Manchego wheels because they use the same molds; thus, this cheese prominently displays the same characteristic basket weave texture. However, La Dama Sagrada has a deeper, ivory-colored paste due to the extended aging.
When you first open the wheel, you will smell the aroma of the aforementioned sweet, cooked curds, as well as caramel. Since this cheese is aged six to eight months to further develop the cheese’s well-rounded sweet and grassy flavor profile, it also shows a drier paste, finely studded with protein flavor crystals. La Dama’s up-front sweetness is balanced nicely with a little bit of spiciness on the finish. It will pair well with sherry or dry red wines, especially Spanish reds like grenache and tempranillo.
Experience International Variety
You might receive a Gaperon, originating in France during the 14th Century, an
authentic Lancashire by Ruth Kirkham, and an Italian Taleggio matured in the
caves of Valsassina…all in one shipment!