Queijo de Nisa DOP

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

Production method: The produce process begins with the addiction of thistle infusion (Cynara cardunculus L.) for the milk at temperature of de 25 to 28 °C, during 45 to 60 minuts. After this process occurs the first cut of the curd to remove part of the whey. Then, the curd is placed in the moulds, pressed by hand curing.
Lastly occurs the maturation process, which is divided into two phases. The first lasts about 15 to 20 days at temperature of 8 a 10 °C, and relative humidity of 80 to 90%, on the other hand, second phase lasts 30 to 40 days, occurs at temperature of the 10 to 14 °C, and relative humidity of 85 to 90%.

Distinctive features: Queijo de Nisa PDO cheese is only made by local cheese makers, who are however famous throughout the country for the quality of their cheeses, which are artisan made.
It can be present in “merendeira” format, with 10 to 12 cm of the diameter and 200 to 400 g of the weight. Or in original format, with 13 to 16 cm of the diameter and weight of the 800 to 1300 g.

Production area: Queijo de Nisa PDO cheese is made in the municipal areas of Nisa, Crato, Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Portalegre, Monforte, Arronches and Alter do Chão, in the Portalegre district.

History: Queijo de Nisa PDO cheese has been well-known in the Alentejo region for some time, long enough for it to have been described in a book written in 1901 by Antonio Maria Horta Camões. It has been part of the lives of the Alentejo people in the Portalegre area as long as can be remembered, used as it was as a basic and important source of protein in what was a generally poor diet.      

Product specification (pdf)

Geographical area

Producer group
NATUR-al-CARNES - Agrupamento Produtores Pecuários Norte Alentejo


Control and certification body
Agricert - Certificação de Produtos Alimentares, 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 n.º 4314/2005, de 21 de abril
Rectificação n.º 2940/2000 – 30.11.2000
Aviso n.º 7820/2000, de 06.05.2000
Despacho n.º 9/94, de 26.01.1994

Decreto Reg. n.º 6/93, de 16.03.1993