Certified cheese expert Matt Caputo says:
Extremadura, Spain is very well known for its raw sheep's milk cheeses made with thistle flower for coagulation instead of rennet. These cheeses–such as the legendary Torta del Casar, which we also carry–are unlike any other category of cheeses and are not for the novice. They are strong and different to say the least.
While Torta del Casar is fantastic we have rare access to a goat's milk version called Sudao. Sudao is also a raw milk, thistle rennet cheese. It displays deep earthy aromas and a hint of thistle driven bitterness. One way Sudao makes for an even more challenging cheese than the already quite advanced Torta del Casar, is that it is a washed rind (read stinky), where Torta del Casar is not.
Sudao spends about a month in Caputo's cheese cave. It is a needy SOB and gets a thrice daily spritz and rub down with a special brine. This allows us to keep these highly perishable beauties looking/tasting like heaven and smelling like hell.
This cheese is almost impossible to find in America, or in Europe for that matter. It is finicky and needy in terms of care once it gets here and on top of all that it makes no economic sense for a cheese shop to carry as it is hard to sell and if you try to push samples of it on people, 90% of them will find it far too challenging.
Why does Caputo's carry it? Because myself and a handful of other cheese geeks are really going to enjoy it. Luckily profit is never the only concern at Caputo's. If you have adventurous tastes this is the cheese to try this weekend. It represents a very unique cheese making tradition and you may not come across it again. We have a week's supply and no solid plans to carry it again.
P.S. If you need serving suggestions for this cheese, you probably won't like it and may want to wait until next week when I talk about cheddar with cherries in it. Not!