In this section we explain what requeixo is and why it is so positive for your health
A little history
It is very difficult to specify an approximate date of the existence of the Requeixo in Galicia.
There are indications of a pilgrimage path to Compostela for the area, called Camiño da Raiña and oral tradition tells that these pilgrims, upon reaching the place known as Pousadoiro, on the border of San Xosé de Ribarteme and Santa Eulalia de Batalláns, on the way to La Franqueira, were honored with requeixo. This product, originally from the mountain areas of the municipality, specifically from the parish of Cerdeira, the place of Lentille in Santa Eulalia de Batalláns and Cernada in San Xosé de Ribarteme, has practically reached our days with the same production process.
Once the milk was curdled, it was introduced into linen sacks for draining. Once the whey was removed, the contents of the bag were emptied and kneaded to give the cheese a homogeneous and creamy appearance. It was then molded to make cheeses of approximately 85 grams, with a shape similar to croquettes, and to be wrapped in cabbage leaves. This presentation was later made on linen cloths, silver paper and currently in food film. Also since ancient times these cheeses sold by the dozen were used as a bargaining chip to acquire other goods for consumption such as fish, sugar and coffee.
With the appearance of pharmaceutical products come the lactic ferments that replace the grated kid’s stomach. In the aforementioned areas there are still some houses where this product is made for self-consumption with peculiar and specific characteristics due to the quality of the pastures.
What is the requeixo?
The requeixo of Galicia is a fresh cheese made with whole cow’s milk, without added salt, and that was usually eaten and consumed as a dessert, sweetening it with honey or sugar. Although, as we have already said, it is not known when the consumption of the request , what we do have clear is that comes from Galicia and it was not always called that. Popularly this product was called “leite trallado”, “leite tomado” o “leite callado”.
Traditionally the production of requeixo was domestic, either for own consumption or for sale in the markets and fairs in the area. Although its traditional use was as a dessert, As Neves requeixo has multiple uses in savory dishes, substituting with advantage any other fresh cheese, both raw and cooked.
Also keep in mind that the requeixo is NOT cottage cheese . As we have mentioned, requeixo is a fresh cheese without salt that is made from cow’s milk. Rather, cottage cheese comes from buttermilk.
What are the benefits of requeixo?
For its preparation, the requeixo only uses cow’s milk produced in Galicia and lactic ferments, without any type of preservatives or stabilizer. Furthermore, this product does not contain added salt , so it has little fat content, making it a very healthy product for people with low sodium diets. Third, requeixo is probiotic, that is, it helps protect our defenses by maintaining the good bacteria in the human body.
Conservation and transport
The requeixo should be kept cold at 3 to 6 degrees. Therefore, shipping must be done in a thermal box with dry ice for optimal conservation during the journey. Once received, it should be consumed preferably within 10 days of receipt provided that it is stored properly.
The ideal company in Requeixo of Galicia: Honey
The Condado-Paradanta region, and especially the As Neves Town Hall, has always been an area with a strong beekeeping tradition due to its characteristic flora.
There is a great diversity of melliferous flora composed of eucalyptus, fruit trees, cabbages, chestnut, bramble, ercaceae, oak and meadow, which guarantees a constant production of the apiary from February to August.
Since ancient times and until a few years ago, the apiaries were made up of hives made of cork and covered with rye straw. The explanation for this form of beekeeping is based on the raw material from the cork of the cork oaks that populated the forests and the cultivation of rye deeply rooted in mountain areas.
It is from the 80s when the Langhstron-type mobilist hives appear that revolutionizes beekeeping. However, the sector suffered a serious setback at the end of this decade with the appearance of diseases such as American foulbrood and Barroasis, almost completely extinguishing all apiaries.
In the mid-90s a slow recovery of some apiaries begins and it is in our days when the first results begin to be seen due to the treatments against diseases and the knowledge of the management of the hive by some small beekeepers. However, this beekeeping is still basically self-consumption and the big problem that trained beekeepers find themselves with is the lack of unification of criteria and chronology when carrying out preventive treatments.