Quick Overview :
A goaty alternative to Manchego, with a hint of Gouda inspiration for flavor.
Country of Origin: Andalucía, Spain
Milk Type/Treatment: Pasteurized Goat & Sheep
Rennet Type: Animal
The Flavor Experience
Herbaceous and grassy, with faint notes of rosemary. This Spanish cheese resembles famed Manchego because of the crosshatch rind, but butter-colored Payoyo is generally a bit softer and creamier.
If you're wondering where a name like "Payoyo" came from, this cheese is named for the goat whose milk it comes from. Andalucia is home to a breed of goat called the Payoya, found mainly in the southern part of the region. Farmers here historically produced queso payoyo, a tangy and slightly sweeter-than-usual cheese that is often compared to Manchego, but with more of a Gouda-esque sweetness.
In the 1990s, many Spanish goats and sheep were sold off to French farmers. In 1996, Andrés Piña and Carlos Ríos decided to take advantage of the peculiarities of the local flocks that hadn't been sold off and revive a line of Payoyo, which contributed to the preservation of the native species, and in the process helped build a new small, sustainable local industry. They only use milk from the ancient breeds of this area: Payoyo goats and Grazalema Merina sheep, who wander the hillsides eating grasses and herbs. That's why this cheese is so sweet and herbaceous! An award winner at the World Cheese Awards several times over.
Just as membrillo and marcona almonds go great with Manchego, they're also fine accompaniments to a slice of Payoyo. We'd also add some rosemary-infused honey and a glass of Garnacha. Or, grate it up and use it to make some cheesy tapas for your friends at a party!