My visit to Catalonia was just a short one so there wasn’t much opportunity to try out traditional Catalonian food. That wasn’t to say we weren’t well fed – the buffet meals at both resorts were piled high with loads of options to keep us going on-piste – and the fact we were spending all day outside also gave me the perfect excuse to indulge in some Spainish churros for breakfast.
We did, however, take a break from skiing on the Sunday to visit a local artisan cheese factory in the town of Sort.
Tros de Sort cheese factory
Tros de Sort specialises in making artisan cheeses using raw milk from their own cows which are kept locally and fed on the green pastures. The dairy was founded in 1995 by five milk farmers, a vet and an agricultural engineer.
We were given a tour of the small factory by one of the owners, Josep. He took us round all of the rooms, explaining what processes took place in each (although we were only allowed to visit when the factory was closed, due to hygiene reasons).
Leaving the milk raw means that rather than buying in generic enzymes to make the cheese, as happens in most dairies, the enzymes contained in the milk can be used, allowing them to produce a cheese that has its own unique flavour and is truly local to the area.
As well a making a whole range of different pressed cheeses, Tros de Sort also specialises in making a traditional Catalonian cheese called Tupi. Tupi has been made in the area for hundreds of years – it was originally made to use up any leftovers a household may have.
The offcuts and leftovers were placed inside an open clay container (itself called a tupi, lending its name to the finished cheese) along with spirits and olive oil. This mixture is allowed to ferment to give a creamy, runny cheese with a very strong flavour.
The dairy use modern methods to produce this traditional recipe – its unusual taste and its full-on strength make it a love it or hate it kind of thing – and I’m afraid to say that I was not a fan at all. It’s the company’s best selling cheese though, so my unsophisticated palate and I obviously have no idea what we’re on about!
There’s also a small farm shop on site where as well as stocking up on cheese (I left with some lovely Costa Negra) and milk from the dairy’s cows, you’ll find a range of other local and artisan products including chocolate, preserves, oil and soap.
Find out more
- The dairy’s website has more information, including details of their tasting sessions.
- Products are exported across Europe and if you live in the US, you can buy Tros de Sort products from Forever Cheese.
I was a guest of Cataluyna Tourism on this trip, but all opinions are my own.