Queijo de Azeitão

Description: The Queijo de Azeitão PDO cheese is made with raw sheep’s milk. It’s a cured semi-soft cheese with butter paste and white or slightly yellowish color.

Production method: After the milking, mostly handmade, occur the milk filtration process and the addition of natural coagulant (about 0.5 g per kilogram flower milk thistle) and salt (about 25 g per liter). Then, the milk is stored at temperature of 30 ºC during 45 minutes.
When curd process is finished, the whey excess is removed by hand, leaving a compressed mass whose following to "wipe" or "bleeding" home, where remains for 20 days at a temperature of the 10-12 ºC and relative humidity of 85 to 90%.

Distinctive features: The Queijo de Azeitão PDO cheese flavor is spicy and also acidic and salted. Its organoleptic characteristics are by one hand, due to the ecological conditions of the region, that affecting the quality of the cultures. Secondly, the use of a spontaneous variety of Cardoon flower (Cynara Cardunculus L.) as a coagulant.

Production region: The geographic area: of production includes the councils of Palmela, Sesimbra and Setúbal.

History: The Queijo de Azeitão PDO cheese began to be produced at 19th century due Gaspar Henriques de Paiva a native from Beira Baixa region. He took with him some Bordaleira breed of sheep to Azeitão region, to produce some characteristic chesses from Serra da Estrela. However, those chesses had distinctive features, highly valued, easily recognized and awarded.

Product specification (pdf)

Product specifications in analysis (pdf)

Geographical area

Producer group
ARCOLSA - Associação Regional de Criadores de Ovinos Leiteiros da Serra da Arrábida

Control and certification body
Kiwa Sativa – Unipessoal, Lda.

Control plan
Control plan (pdf)

Publication in EU official journal
Reg. (CE) n.º 1107/96 - L148 21.06.1996
Reg. de Execução 2024/443 de 05.02.2024

Publication in the Portuguese official journal
Decreto Regulamentar n.º 49/86, de 2 de outubro
Despacho n.º 6400/2003, de 1 de abril
Aviso n.º 4313/2005, de 21 de abril