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Ronda, Spain - Where cheese and olive oil are made together

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

El Tajo Gorge
Malaga province of Spain

Southern Spain has many treasures to offer. The history is rich and complex, the food is immaculate and the cities are lively. Ronda is a smaller city but one that boasts a great ammount of beauty and culture.

As part of a day trip while staying in Seville, we stopped at a small olive oil farm and mill outside the city of Ronda. Spain accounts for about 44% of olive oil production in the world and the Analusia region produces alot of it. During our visit, we toured the facilities at the olive mill, including a demonstration on the process of producing and refining olive oil. This seemed like a small and traditional operation that had preserved family heritage in the business.

Once we finished with the tour, the guide brought us to a shop where they sold olive oils and olive oil products. You guessed it! Cheese was on offer! It reminded me of the age old saying about cuisine; what grows together goes together. Cheese that is soaked in olive oil? Yes, please! The cheeses were produced in a creamery just up the road from the farm.

The "white houses" of Ronda

I purchased 2 cheeses during the visit. Both being cheese I had not seen yet anywhere in Spain. (or anywhere else for that matter) One came in a tub bathed in extra virgin olive oil, and the other was sealed in vacuum pack along with olive oil and spices. Both were made from a mixture of the famous payoya goat's milk and cow's milk. They are hand crafted. You might get lucky enough to find some online by searching for "Castillo de la Sierra queso." I have tried to describe and review them here:

Queso Curado - en Aciete de Oliva Virgen Extra

Description: A cheese made of both cow and goat milk which is cured, then bathed in extra virgin olive oil.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Flavor Notes:

- Great cured and salty flavor with a hint of olive oil throughout

- Firm but oily and creamy texture

-Makes for a great accopmiament with veg or in a salad.

Queso Curado - Pimenton Picante

Description: A cheese made of both cow and goat milk which is cured, then bathed in extra virgin olive oil, paprika and other spices.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Flavor Notes:

-Intense up front spice, salty finish

-Delicious aftertaste with a rich, salty and briny flavour.

-Very firm, almost crumbly. Stands on its own really well.

Never did I think olive oil and cheese would be so expertly paired! They seem to find each other alot in cooking, but this took the combo to another level!

Thanks for reading!

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