Amarelo da Beira Baixa (translation: “Yellow cheese from the lower Beira”) is a Portuguese sheep and goat’s mixed milk semi-firm cheese. Unlike many Iberian cheeses, it is made using animal rennet rather than vegetable coagulants like those derived from thistle, and yet it still has a subtle bitterness in the flavor that one associates with those cheeses, which I found interesting.
With a semi-soft, creamy paste, mild in flavor and aroma, it has a slightly sour, yeasty flavor with a nice earthiness and nuttiness and only a hint of lanolin from the sheep’s milk. The sheep and goat seem to balance each other well, neither dominating the cheese and producing a mellow final result.
(By the way, if you’re wondering why I called it “thistle coagulant” when it’s often called “thistle rennet”: during my class at VIAC I was corrected on this, as apparently only Animal Rennet is labeled as such, the rest are coagulants of one kind or another which have just been short-handed to “rennet”.)
Purchased at Fairway Red Hook.