Quesucos de Liébana
Quesucos de Liébana is made in the Liébana Valley, in Cantabria, in northern Spain. The cheese is made from the whole milk of cows, sheep, or goats , or a mixture of two or more milks, since herdsmen in the area often keep mixed herds. The cheese is mentioned in documents from the 16th century, but has probably been around longer than that.
Quesucos de Liébana is a semi-firm, small cheese. Usually it comes in cylinder or disc shape, with a diameter of about 3 to 5 inches (8 to 12 cm) and a height of about 2 to 4 inches (3 to 10 cm) tall. The cheese usually weighs about 500gm. The cheese is aged at least 2 weeks.
Quesucos de Liébana cheeses are varied, depending on which milks are used and whether or not the cheese is smoked or not. Normal versions have a smooth, somewhat sweet, buttery taste. Smoked versions will have a fuller, smoky flavor. Unsmoked versions will usually have a yellow rind. The rinds are sometimes rough and irregular. Younger versions of the cheese are rindless. Smoked versions will have a brown rind. The interior of the cheese is usually white to pale yellow.
Quesucos de Liébana is a DOP cheese (Denominación de Origen Protegida), which means that its name is protected in Europe. To be labeled as Quesucos de Liébana the cheese and its milk must come from a certain geographical area in northern Spain. The milk must also come from certain breeds of cattle, sheep, and or goats.