Organic Merino sheep cheese from Quesería Oliva

2.00 kg/box

Organic Merino sheep cheese from Quesería Oliva

2.00 kg/box

Buy directly from the farmer. Without intermediaries.
Limited & seasonal harvest.
The farmer does (yet) not ship to:  United States
Specifications
Contents of the box: 1 box contains 2kg of organic merino sheep's cheese
Race: Grazalema Merino sheep
1 x organic cheese made from merino sheep milk, aged for at least one year in organic olive oil (1kg, vacuum-packed)
1 x organic cheese made from merino sheep milk, aged for at least one year in organic Iberian lard (1kg, vacuum-packed)
Traditional unpasteurised raw milk cheese from native Grazalema merino sheep
Made by hand and aged at room temperature between 10ºC and 16ºC
Its flavour is strong, with spicy notes that remain on the palate long after the cheese has been consumed, while it has a crumbly, grainy or coarse texture, typical of aged cheeses
Organic farming certified by European organic label since 2006
Ideal for aperitifs and starters, paired with red wine or sherry to enhance its flavour, when grated, it's a wonderful ingredient for pizzas and pastas
It's best to remove the rind before eating the cheese
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for it to last as long as possible
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Environmentalist
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BPA-free
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Farmer 360
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Organic
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Young Farmer
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Small Farm
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Family Farm
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Visitors welcome
Delia María Olmos Oliva
My name's Delia Olmos Oliva. I was born in Villaluenga del Rosario and, together with my family, I've spent much of my life taking care of our flock and making cheese. My parents were always committed to our small-scale business, but were also keen on their children receiving a good education. As a result, I graduated in Early Childhood Education and worked for more than ten years in Jerez de la Frontera. My son was born there and my husband worked as a horse trainer. On the whole, our life was happy. However, Jerez is big city full of hustle and bustle, and as we grew up in a quiet place with stunning natural beauty, we always wanted to return to our happy place in the forest-covered mountains with our family. To give you an idea, in Villaluenga there are hardly any cars on the streets and when we look up, we can see the towering mountains, which are home to the vultures that fly over our village. In the quietest hours of the day, the jingle jangle of the flocks is always present in the distance. What's more, spending time with my mother in the cheese factory, or with my father and brother in the mountains, are experiences that give meaning to any plan to return. So, we packed our bags and went back to our village, hoping to take over from my mother Charo at the cheese factory. She's a living witness of the age-old tradition of cheesemaking. She built up our business thanks to her entrepreneurial ambition and her belief in herself and in the family. And she also wanted to be independent from the large cheese factories, which used to buy milk from local farmers. And she did so with the conviction that she would only succeed by being faithful to her way of making cheese. It wasn't easy to focus on an exceptional raw material, such as organic milk, and working it without machines or additives to accelerate production. All she had was her hands, knowledge and time, which calls for a superhuman effort. That's why my brother and I have now followed in the family's footsteps to continue a village tradition so appreciated by everyone who admires quality cheese. We've both been working since we were children, helping our family out with different jobs. I remember working alongside my grandparents, parents and the occasional neighbour to churn the milk that came from our flock. Those were moments of huge pressure, as traditional production techniques call for the raw material be worked within twenty-four hours of milking. But they were also times full of joy and happiness as a family. Today, my brother is responsible for the sheep and I take care of everything related to the cheese factory. The alarm clock goes off really early. By 7.00 am he has to be out on the land to call in the flock and start milking and other things. In my case, I start with the cheesemaking at 5.00 am. And then I work all day long, sometimes until after 6.00 pm. I've always thought that all this work deserves a lot of recognition. I wanted to be part of it all, reflecting my mother Charo's perseverance to achieve her dream of making her cheeses known to the world. And thanks to CrowdFarming I believe that I've found the perfect formula: families that appreciate the care we give to our sheep who are looking for rich and healthy products with history and plenty of tradition.
Quesería Oliva
Our sheep live in a privileged place, the Sierra de Grazalema Nature Park, a protected natural area like no other in the world. It's the place with the highest rainfall on the Iberian peninsula, which together with the mountains form a stunning natural landscape. The relief is very steep, with limestone mountains pierced by water that form spectacular canyons, chasms and caverns. The difficult access and climate conditions have led to an imposing Mediterranean forest landscape, formed by holm oaks, cork oaks and gall oaks. But the most prevalent tree is the Spanish fir, a Southern European species that is a relic from the last ice age that affected the peninsula. The flock lives in an area known as Los Llanos del Republicano. This is a narrow depression between high mountains, approximately six kilometres long, with a centuries-old livestock tradition. There are several herds of sheep and goats there, all with a public licence for sheep farming, as the pastures are exceptional and the animals have a wide-open space to live among mountains, with plenty of grazing land and water. Apart from our farms and the houses in the tiny whitewashed villages of Villaluenga del Rosario, Benaocaz and Grazalema, there are no buildings in the area. Neither is there any farming, except for forest-based activities such as cork production and mushroom collection. And the sheepfolds in the area have no electricity. What's more, the herds help preserve the forests, as they remove the abundant undergrowth that occurs each year in the rainy season, thereby preventing fires and fostering the biodiversity of this protected area. In the summer when the pastures are bare, and when the sheep need an additional nutritional supplement, we give them organic feed. This area is also home to the Sima del Republicano, a cavity more than 1,100 metres deep, which is part of an interwoven karst complex and a major attraction for lovers of caving. As a result of this unique landscape, our sheep have acquired special characteristics so that they can adapt to the environment, where winters are cold and springs are humid and rainy, and to a mountainous habitat with high and rocky peaks. Our sheepfold has been run by livestock farmers in the area for more than two centuries. We don't have electricity there, so we work with head torches when it goes dark in the evening. The sheepfold is living proof of the passage of time and our ancestors' tradition. The sheep go there every time they're going to be milked, because the rest of the day they live in the open air. My village, Villaluenga del Rosario, has a long tradition of cheesemaking. It straddles the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga, on the side of one of the many mountains in the area. Thanks to the valley that runs through our village, livestock activity has been traditional for centuries. Today, with just 190 inhabitants, there are six cheese factories that work with Merino sheep and Payoya goats. This activity continues to create wealth, so the young generations can stay in the village and earn a living. The local cheeses are internationally recognised, and we play host to the Andalusian Cheese Fair every year, which attracted more than thirty thousand visitors in its latest edition. A traditional event in our village is the Romería (held on 15 June), a rural festival in honour of the Divine Shepherdess. As this is when the temperatures are at their highest, the sheep begin to reduce their amount of milk and we only milk them in the morning. Working organically while living in a protected park is normal. Our sheep are bred in one of the most iconic natural areas of the Iberian peninsula. My parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and now us, have always worked in the same way. We were certified organic in 2006 and everything is done as it was in the past. The sheep graze on high mountain grass, while they drink water from natural springs found all over the plains. We don't overexploit the land cultivated for animal feed, as the amount we use is minimal and it's also produced organically. What's more, our animals are free of chemically synthesised drugs, as our mission is for them to live healthily in order to prevent diseases. Sheep have given our family work for as long as I can remember. Today, my brother and I take care of managing everything related to their care and cheesemaking. However, working with CrowdFarming means that we can give stability to our business and improve profits. This also means that we can take on two new employees, one for farming and the other for cheesemaking. They'll help us when we're busier and will be given temporary contracts according to the collective agreement. This will be a huge step forward for us!
Technical information
Address
Quesería Oliva, Villaluenga del Rosario, ES
Altitude
858m
Team
1 woman and 1 man
Flock size
250
Cultivation technique
Organic farming
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