This blog post was originally posted on July 9, 2015 and was updated on December 15, 2017.
One of the best parts of living (and eating!) in an area so profoundly rooted in tradition is finding those old ways of life that still live on despite modern times.
Throughout Spain, so much of what we eat was born out of necessity. And today it continues on through tradition. This applies to cured meats, salt-cod, sangria, and of course, cheese. A lot of the traditional cheeses have almost disappeared throughout the years. Furthermore, if it weren’t for courageous and passionate foodies that have worked to keep these customs alive, we might not see all of the great products we can today.
Tros de Sort is an artisanal cheese producer of Catalonia. They are located in the mountainous region of Pallars. They are one of few who makes one of the oldest and most emblematic cheeses of the Pyrenees. Furthermore, it is also one that we absolutely love—tupi cheese!
Tupí is a cheese named after the clay pot recipient in which it’s traditionally elaborated and sometimes stored. A fermented cheese made from cow, goat or sheep’s milk. It’s firm yet spreadable in texture, and the flavor is strong and pungent.
Because we love it so much, we decided to speak with Tros de Sort to learn a little more. Read on to learn about the history, production, and passion behind tupi cheese.
Q: What is the story behind Tros de Sort?
Tros de Sort was born in 1995 as a result of the milk crisis that had been rocking the region of Pallars Sobrià since 1986. A group of ranchers and a cheese-making specialist got together to transform their own production of milk. That was their way to fight against the sector’s bad situation. Years later, we consolidated to become one of the first artisanal cheese producers that work with and sell raw cow’s milk cheeses in the Barcelona market.
Q: What challenges have you faced in the production of cheese, or tupí cheese in particular?
Tros de Sort had its first challenge in its beginnings in commercializing one of its standard cheeses, the Tou dels Til.lers. This was due to the fact that this is a cheese made with raw milk and aged for less than four months.
A second challenge was transforming this traditional, artisanal and strong-flavored cheese, tupí, to a marketable product. We managed to do it thanks to the high-quality extra virgin olive oil that we use. This unsurprisingly softens its flavor. It also brings the Catalan countryside and grazing lands to the consumers’ palate in a pleasant way.
Q: What is something that you love about your work?
The creativity it requires.
Q: A favorite Spanish or Catalan dish?
L’escalivada, which by the way pairs perfectly with our tupi cheese!
Q: And speaking of pairing, which wines would you recommend pairing with tupi cheese?
A white wine, contrary to what many might think, goes very well with these types of cheeses. A well-aged cheese, with a strong flavor and salty undertones pairs perfectly with a white wine that cleans the palate and leaves us with a fresh flavor.
Q: What are some other local products of the area that you love?
We are lucky to work with other producers in the area like Clara from Casa Mateu that makes excellent cheese, Can Pujol with one of the best Xolís or Juli that produces smoked trout from the Noguera Pallaresa River. Only three names so as not to make a never-ending list, since there are abundant products of great quality from Pallars!