Quesos De Trasmoz

"Bread with cheese, sabe a kiss"

Proverb Spanish

The origins

Human consumption of animal milk began about 11,000 years ago with the domestication of livestock: cows, goats and sheep. Our Neolithic ancestors, probably in an attempt to preserve milk, came up with a new product: cheese. For the ancient Greeks "cheese was a gift from the gods"

In ancient Greece it was not eaten alone, but mixed with flour, honey, oil, raisins and almonds. The Romans included it in their diet, seasoning it with thyme, pepper, pine nuts and other dried fruits.

In the Middle Ages, religious orders became important areas of agricultural activity, and cheese became important during the many fasting days when meat was forbidden.

Cheese, a product of gods and legends. Nothing strange in a Moncayo used to poets, witches and spells. Other more legendary origins speak of horsemen from the steppes carrying milk in boats. The heat, the movement and the boot itself curdled the milk. Between history and legend also appear in Moncayo the legendary "serranillas", shepherdess women to whom the Marquis of Santillana sang.

For centuries, meat, wool and milk or cheese were key to the subsistence of families.

The Moncayo is a land rich in pastures; cows, goats and sheep have always been part of the Moncayo landscape and culture.

Cooperative Society "El Acebo de Moncayo"

The cheese factory was the dream of a group of young people who wanted to escape from the city "We became a Cooperative in 1999. Two years earlier we created an association to study what we wanted to do for self-employment and to work in what each one of us wanted", say the promoters. After carrying out several market studies, they decided to settle in the Moncayo region, specifically in Trasmoz; a very touristy town where 30 people live, and where on weekends there are up to 300.

Learning to live in a rural environment was not easy, but the results, according to Óscar, are highly positive. "It has allowed us to keep some jobs, adequate remuneration and develop attitudes and interests, but at the beginning it was hard for us. We were used to city life, to services. But it has been more worthwhile to be close to nature."

The product

Artisan food is one of the hallmarks of Aragonese gastronomy and, of course, an undeniable sign of food quality. Artisan products are characterized by being made in small companies, with no more than ten employees and being preferably handmade and individualized El Acebo de Moncayo, is committed to the use of traditional techniques, respectful of the environment and consumers, to make natural and handmade products linked to the most deeply rooted Aragonese cultural and gastronomic traditions.

At the foot of the Moncayo Natural Park, nature provides abundant and well cared pastures, which allow us to obtain a dairy production of excellent quality. It is our inherited heritage. Flavors, aromas, work and emotions summarized in a simple wedge of cheese. As if it were a loose verse. A rounded food, like the territories facing the mountains.

Dedication, care and know-how. Although they offer high quality cured sheep cheeses, they are especially proud of the goat cheese, both sheep and goat cheese are of a single type: cured and raw milk. The goat cheese is the result of a breed of livestock typical of the region: the Moncaína goat, an autochthonous breed that is very resistant to the extreme climatic conditions.

The cured Moncaína goat cheese is a unique and distinctive product. Artisan and natural, made from raw milk to preserve all the good organisms of the milk and all its flavor. The milk is obtained from the goats of the Moncayo area. It requires a maturation time of more than 2 months, which gives it a strong and persistent flavor. The approximate weight of the piece: 700 gr. and 2.5 Kg., and it is vacuum packed. As it is a cured cheese, "we make it in limited quantities and the quantity also depends on the seasonality of the cattle's milk". They do not have their own livestock, but they point out that "it is as if we did, because we always work with the same shepherds, from whom we buy all the milk they produce, which is a guarantee for them. What we look for is that the milk has a high quality, especially in terms of fat and protein".

Acebo del Moncayo: looking to the future

Moncayo goat cheese is a product that has been on the market for fifteen years now and has been settling and increasing its demand. Cured goat cheese in olive oil, with fine herbs. Mushroom pâté, made from the Boletus Edulis mushroom, are made exclusively with natural ingredients from the region itself and have an extremely limited production, we are told. We are artisans and we pamper the product.

Acebo de Moncayo focuses its strategy on selling to people from nearby towns and mainly to tourists. "We also have an online store, although I understand that people appreciate the product more when they see it and try it. Ours is a very close customer," Óscar adds. "They come here or they wait for a fair.

The cooperative has even considered not growing any further. "We want a type of product linked to the territory".

Cheese is a reality born of that dreamed-of Moncayo, Machadian and Becquerian. It nourishes, cares, promotes health. A way to take home the natural essence of Moncayo. It is autochthonous, sustainable and natural. It is the memory of a landscape on our lips. What we were and what we are. The landscape, that magical combination of soil, altitude and climate, which is the reason for the delicious diversity of flavors and textures of the cheese.