The beautiful country of Portugal is a cradle of sheep's and goat's milk cheeses. Its cheese makers follow ancient methods and traditions producing rustic, hand made cheeses. Many Portuguese cheeses are exquisite and highly regarded, yet they are difficult to find in the US.
"Bica de Queijo" loosely translated means "bag of cheese". And that is exactly what this cheese looks like. When the curd is fresh, it is placed in a cheese cloth and twisted up into a "bag". As the cheese firms up, the cloth is removed, but its imprint remains, giving rise to its name. Made from goat's milk, it is mildly goaty with a pleasant creamy, chewy texture. The rind is not edible, but it's an interesting part of the cheese - look for the imprint of the cheese maker here. It's as if we are given a snapshot of how the cheese was prepared.
Bica can be enjoyed at every stage from soft and fresh to mature and firm. The flavor remains consistent, but the texture varies greatly.
Wine and food pairing suggestions
Bica is a mild, but flavorful, cheese with a springy texture when young which makes it a perfect cheese for your cheese board. Trim one side of the rind off, but leave a bit on the end of the cheese for guests to use as a "handle".
Bica is a wine friendly cheese and pairs well with sparkling, dry whites and fruity reds like Pinot Noir or Sangiovese.
About the Cheesemonger
The cheesemonger has two locations: The Grapevine Wine & Cheese Shop located in downtown Willow Glen, CA and Good Tastes Wine, Cheese & Tasting Bar located in downtown Campbell, CA. Selecting cheese at these shops could not be easier or more fun. They have a wide selection of high quality cheese from throughout the world with new shipments frequently arriving. All cheese can be tasted prior to purchase and is cut to order. And if you are not sure what you want, their knowledgeable staff will gladly help you pick out the perfect cheese. Stop by and check out this month's featured cheese or join their bi-monthly Cheese club and be surprised by the outstanding cheeses provided to you!Copyright 2007, Willow Glen Wine Merchants, Inc. Permission is required for any reproduction.