Pedro Couceiro believes that Queijo Serra da Estrela/PDO is a unique landmark within the Portuguese gastronomy and it is only fair to consider it as one of the 7 Wonders of the Portuguese Gastronomy.
A Serra da Estrela
AN 8-CENTURY-OLD COUNTRY,
A TASTE WITH A MILLENARY TRADITION
With huge orography, Serra da Estrela hides in its valleys unique pastures and the ancient knowledge about the art of preserving milk – cheese. Turning milk into a good cheese is a habit that was born here, long time before the foundation of this ancient country in 1143.
The roughness of this granite and schist mountain range, redesigned by snow, is sweetened by the valleys, where grass grows at the first sunny days of Spring time.
Here, nature produces unique pastures for the herds of Bordaleira or Churra Mondegueira’s sheep breeds, wisely led by the shepherds.
It is from this virtuous association of the unique pastures with local-breed sheep that an irreplaceable raw-material is achieved: the pure milk, the right milk. A milk that has been perfected for many generations; at a slow paced knowledge improvement, that is nowadays recognized in every piece of the great Queijo Serra da Estrela.
Queijo Serra da Estrela is therefore one of the great ambassadors of our gastronomic tradition.
And this is also the mission of Queijo Vale da Estrela PDO– to establish itself as a delicious symbol of Portugal. For us and for the world.
Mangualde – “has always caught the eye of ancient people and nowadays people
“Mangualde, located in Beira’s highlands, surrounded by both rivers Mondego and Dão, staring at the Estrela, Caramulo, Gralheira and Montemuro Mountains, is an old territory, where History and people are one.
Its fertile lands and mild weather have caught the eye of ancient and nowadays people.
It watched the Dolmens builders, it was the cradle of the Lusitanian, it became civilized with the Romans, it fought against the Moors and it was recognized by Lady Teresa and Sir Henrique, before Portugal was born.
Located at the road communication crossroads with the Portuguese railways and A25 highway, opening the doors widely of Europe and the Costal, Mangualde was a commercial hub for the wool industry in Gouveia, Seia and Covilhã and presently automobiles, machines, textiles, wood and minerals are produced there.
The century-old (fair) Feira dos Santos welcomes people from every corner of Portugal, who go there to taste pork steaks, to delight themselves with black pudding and to try the amazing wine from Dão, cultivated in its slopes and aged in the quiet and cool granite cellars.
January’s green pastures over feed the sheep herds, whose milk is used to make the distinctive Queijo da Serra by wise hands. Kid and lamb are served, highlighting the rich and exquisite gastronomy of sublime tastes. Bean “pastéis” (cakes), with old fame and tradition, delight just about anyone…
From the hands of Tibaldinho women and within the whiteness of the cotton and linen, the century-old embroidery works are born, real artworks of rare fineness.
The relation between man and Magualde’s territory has formed a patchwork of cultural manifestations of their own lifestyle, peculiar and with a lasting reflex on the landscape.
The Dolmen’s megalithic architecture in Cunha Baixa, the orthogonality of the Roman construction of Estalagem da Raposeira, the romantic and medieval Torre de Gandufe and the astonishing beauty of Igreja da Misericórdia, the impressing monumentality of Palácio dos Condes de Anadia and the staggering presence of Ermida da Senhora do Castelo are just a few identity marks of a territory filled with corners and little corners of a fantastic and poetical natural beauty.
The new and modern hotel and restaurant facilities, combined with the tourist and leisure infrastructure of unparalleled quality and variety, such as Termas de Alcafache or the artificial beach in Mangualde, which brought the sea into the mountain, are an invitation to relaxation moments of refreshing pleasure.
Mangualde, land of good people, who welcome you well and take care of you even better, enchants and keeps renewing the invitation to its rediscovery.”