Queijo de Évora DOP

Description: The Queijo de Évora PDO cheese is made with raw sheep’s milk, from the Merina Branca breed of sheep. It’s a cured cheese with hard or semi-hard paste and yellowish shade.

Production method: To produce Queijo de Évora PDO cheese occurs, initially, the milk filtration process with salty cloth.
The milk is then heated over a low, wood burning fire, and is added the thistle infusion (Cynara cardunculus L.), of local variety. Coagulation takes from 20 minutes to 40 minutes, and then the whey is removed.
The maturation process is about 30 days for semi-hard paste cheese and 90 for the hard paste cheese. Are both at temperature of 8 to 15 ⁰C and relative humidity of 80 to 95%.

Distinctive features: Queijo de Évora PDO cheese can be present into a different formats, namely:
- “small” from hard paste, with 6 to 8 cm of the diameter and 60 to 90 g of the weight;
- “merendeira” from hard paste, with 12 to 14 cm of the diameter and 120 to 200 g of the weight;
- “merendeira” from semi-hard paste, with 13 to 15 cm of the diameter and 200 to 300 g of the weight.
It has a distinctive aroma and taste, slightly spicy and acidic, which is more accentuated in the harder chesses.

Production area: Queijo de Évora PDO cheese is made in the municipal areas of Alandroal, Arraiolos, Avis, Borba, Estremoz, Évora, Fronteira, Montemor-o-Novo, Mourão, Portel, Redondo, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Sousel, Vendas Novas, Viana do Alentejo and Vila Viçosa, in the district of Évora.

History: Queijo de Évora PDO cheese is part of the ancient cheese making tradition of the Alentejo region, which developed because of the abundant supply of sheep’s milk in the area. Cheese was an important source of daily food, particularly in the poorer classes, whose salaries were paid in cheese and other foodstuffs.

Product specification (pdf)

Geographical area

Producer group
Cooperativa Ovina de Évora C.R.L

Control and certification body
CERTIS – Controlo e Certificação, Lda.

Control plan
Control plan (pdf)

Publication in EU official journal
Reg. (CE) n.º 1107/96 - L148 21.06.1996

Publication in the Portuguese official journal
Aviso (extracto) n.º 4173-C/2005 (2ª série), de 19 de abril 
Aviso n.º 7546/2004 (2ª série), de 16 de julho 
Aviso n.º 4581/2000 (2ª série), de 11 de março 
Aviso n.º 4579/2000 (2ª série), de 11 de março 
Aviso n.º 10750/98 (2ª série), de 25 de junho 
Aviso n.º 10233/98 (2ª série), de 26 de junho 
Aviso de 04 de fevereiro de 1994
Despacho n.º 29/94, de 04 de fevereiro