The International Cheese Festival in Zamora was about to swing into action as we arrived! Fromago was being held in Zamora for the first time and for the next four days the streets, and the paradore, were very busy indeed. The smell of cheese pervaded the air and after a few days it was quite good to smell fresh air!
The Festival was a trade fair but there were also workshops, video presentations, tastings and competitions. A packed programme was on offer but I must admit it was rather too much for me. The aim was to put Zamoran cheese production on the international map.
Because we were staying in the paradore there was no point in buying. I wasn’t quite back to eating properly and a plateful of cheese did not appeal – sad!
However, it was here in Zamora that we first tried Basque Cheesecake …. oh my!
The organisers wanted to highlight a cheese called Zamorano, which is made from unpasteurised sheep’s milk – hence this exhibition.
These colourful musicians performed around the town on most days, and even if you couldn’t see them you could hear them, particularly their drums.
Around the streets
There were exhibition tents around almost every corner in the old city with c.350 stands, although I notice numbers well into 600 on stands. Exhibitors were selling hard and people milled around, looking, smelling and tasting.
At the parador
The square outside the paradore was filled with tents, tables and chairs and there was a ‘buying tent’ where 6€ bought a plate of five cheeses, grapes and bread. Nearby tents sold liquid refreshments. There was always a long queue here.
And the cloister inside the paradore was busy at lunchtime and in the evenings with receptions. The staff were looking decidedly ragged after four days of festivities.
The cheese festival in Zamora added fun to our stay in the town and on returning to London I have been looking for local cheese shops which might offer Spanish cheeses. I have also looked up recipes for Spanish cheesecakes which seem to consist of soft or cream cheeses, double cream and eggs – no wonder they tasted so good!
Basque Cheesecake – that looks delicious! I must admit, we love cheese (especially when it’s paired with wine 😉).