Original article published at TasteAtlas
This hard cheese is produced exclusively on the island of Pico in the Portuguese Azores. The climate on the island, while harsh, is particularly good for raising cattle, and as the island was separated from the mainland by long boat trips in the past, the only way to make use of the milk produced by the island’s cattle was to produce cheese.
Pico is made from cow’s milk curdled with animal rennet. The curd is salted and formed into cheeses, which are left to mature for a month under cold and humid conditions. Pico cheese is round, flat, and smooth with a yellow rind and a doughy white interior with a soft texture. Its fat content is at around 50%, making it very moist, and it has a strong, salty flavor and intense aroma. It is traditionally consumed at the end of the meal, accompanied by local Verdelho do Picowine.