viernes, 17 de febrero de 2017

Interview: Cheeses Sierra de Albarracin at Radio 5

The cheeses from Albarracín were protagonists in the radio program "Degustar España" of Radio 5 (RNE). Alberto Asensio, Sierra de Albarracín Manager, was interviewed live by the journalist Paloma Zuriaga who brought our gourmet cheeses to all her listeners and foodies. You can listen the interview here (in spanish): 

You can also read the transcript of the interview below: 

Alberto, all the Sierra de Albarracin's cheeses are from sheep's milk...

Yes, indeed, because it's the livestock itself that dominates the origin of milk. And since we have sheeps, our cheeses has to be and must be from sheep's milk.

And all controlled by you.

The principle of everything is in that raw material. Our own livestock, with almost 2,000 sheeps and a really intensive production, allows us to have a stable level of sheep's milk troughout the year to transform it into our precious cheeses, both raw milk and pasteurized milk.

Enough raw material in a small company that is already ten years old.

Yes, in 2016 we celebrated our 10th anniversary. We are delighted to remember how we started with the sheeps and cheeses. With a constant and conscientious work by the team, young people as you can imagine, because the company was born with the idea of ​​creating and forming people committed to a project. We are getting that first phase for the moment.

For now, you have achieved many awards because the Sierra de Albarracin cheeses are highly prized. Not only in Aragon, but in the World Cheese Awards from where you came back with a lot of medals.

As you say, the World Cheese Awards are the international competition par excellence and the reference for the whole sector and well, this year was celebrated after a long time in England, moved to San Sebastian where we had the fortune and privilege to attend personally in this edition of 2016. It was a pleasure. Imagine being surrounded by three thousand and so aspirants in all three types of sheep's milk and goat's milk. And since 2010, when we started to win the first gold medals, we came back from this edition with 13 new awards: a Super Gold, a Gold, four Plates, seven Bronzes ... In total there are already 28 medals in the last five years, which place us as the most distinguished Spanish cheesemaker in this contest. Which makes us feel frankly proud.

Of course. We have many cheeses to choose: Silver label, Blue label, Green label, Black label... I do not know where to start but maybe about the Silver Label, one of the most awarded, right?

Precisely the Silver Label, in this last edition of the World Cheese Awards, was the one that received that Super Gold medal, an award for the 55 best cheeses in the world: one for each table of jurors, composed of 7 or 8 members each, who choose the best cheese from each table. We had the chance to once again a Super Gold medal, because in 2012 we already obtained it with the Blue Label cheese. In 2016 we bet for a matured cheese, at least 9 months, with sheep's milk like mentioned, without forgetting the rest. In short, a cheese is a question of raw material and - second - time of maturation. 

How can we buy these cheeses?

The distribution is relatively limited. We are not a big company and, therefore, we have a reduced production and this prevents us to work in large areas or large commercial areas. We don't do it through distributors, but through direct sales to the traditional delicatessen or the specialized shop. The big cities of this country make the difference in this type of consumption, because there is a select market of products that is demanded by people of average and high economic capacity, who look for differentiated products, exclusive and of the highest quality. At a fair price too, logically, but the big cities are our market and that gourmet shops in most cases are our customer. 

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