This wheel of goat's milk cheese from Valencia, Spain, looks like a piece of stone that fell off an old Gothic cathedral. As the Caputo's cheese crew took the wheels out of the boxes, it was as if we were looking at smuggled artifacts. Next time I have occasion to display an entire wheel on a cheese plate, I am definitely using this cheese. The small one kilo wheel will make quite the visual impression as it is even cooler than the pictures demonstrate.
 
 
While I am obviously head over heels about the look of this cheese, the taste is just as unique. I have never tried a cheese quite like it. The outside is classically very moldy and this contributes a heavy must to the flavor of the paste. It is similar to the effect of another Spanish cheese called Garrotxa.

However, Garrotxa is rich and smooth. Abrigo is almost like a mix of Garrotxa and a dry Sardinian sheep's milk cheese called Fiore Sardo with a firm dry paste and pretty piquant bite. In addition to all these similarities, Abrigo also carries some pretty heavy citrus- like acidity I have not before seen in a cheese this hard. Luckily this acidity is clean and crisp and not overly gamy.

Abrigo's austere texture and tangy flavor make it a welcome and surprising little bite of cheese given the change of season. I suspect I will like it even more when my body adjusts to warmer temperatures (hopefully soon).