Taste Goat Cheese From Spain: The Story behind Mas Alba Girona Cheesemaking

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Tasting goat cheese from Spain is a culinary experience like no other. 

While exploring Costa Brava food in collaboration with the Costa Brava Tourism Board, we had the opportunity to meet the goat cheese makers at Mas Alba Girona.

Visiting local producers offers a fantastic opportunity to learn about local foods from the artisans and makes the tasting all the more extraordinary. 

In Costa Brava, artisanal cheeses are produced throughout and they are an important part of the cuisine.

Let’s dive into goat cheese making and what goat cheese taste like with Mas Alba in Girona, Spain.

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What is Mas Alba?

Mas Alba Dairy Girona Spain by AuthenticFoodQuest
The Mas Alba farm house and artisanal dairy

Casa Mal Alba is an 18th-century farmhouse and local dairy located in Terradellas, a small village 15 minutes north of Girona.

Mas Alba is a family story, owned by the Huguet family for five generations. The fifth generation, Martí, Anna, and Llorenç run the farmhouse and dairy.

Marti, the youngest, has devoted himself to goat cheese-making for more than 15 years.  

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: In Girona, one of the best ways to explore the local cuisine is on a food tour with a local guide. This Girona food tour offers one of the best experiences to dive into the local culinary culture. We took this tour and for 4+ hours, we explored the local shops, farmers market, and Girona restaurants. See our detailed review The Ultimate Girona Food Tour To Indulge in The City’s Finest Gastronomy

Goat Cheese Making Spain

Goat Cheese Mas Alba by Authentic Food Quest
Artisanal Mas Alba goat cheese

Goat cheese making in Spain is a tradition that dates back centuries. There are many diverse regional varieties and artisans using traditional techniques to make exceptional cheeses.

Beyond Garrotxa cheese, one of the most well-known from Garrotxa, in the Catalonia province of Girona, many cheese makers in the areas are reviving the goat cheese-making tradition.

In Costa Brava alone, there are several artisanal cheese makers throughout the region. 

At Mas Alba, after years of raising goats, Marti began experimenting with cheese-making.

We were quite surprised when he told us he got his start making goat cheese “ by learning online by watching YouTube videos.”

And after a few successful experiments, he went on to get the training and certifications to become a certified cheesemaker. 

In a short time, Martí has quickly made a name for himself. His cheeses became so popular that the family decided to stop selling goat milk and focus instead on cheese making.

Mas Alba offers seven different types of Catalan cheeses made with the best milk from the goats. 

From the way the goats are raised to the cheese-making process, everything is done organically and artisanally.

Goat Cheese-Making Process

Goat Farm at Mas Alba Girona Spain by AuthenticFoodQuest
Goats roaming freely at Mas Alba farm

At Mas Alba, Martí walked us through the goat cheese-making process. From his small lab next to the farmhouse to his underground cheese cellar.

Like his goats, Martí treats his cheeses with patience and kindness. 

We were fascinated by the stories about the curdling process. This process, we learned, takes place by adding enzymes to raw milk, adding acidity, and transforming it into cheese.

Depending on the enzymes used and the maturation time, the goat cheese is either soft, creamy, firm, mild, or coarse.

Sea salt is added in the process to preserve the cheese and add depths of flavors to the goat cheese taste.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Have you ever thought about making your own goat cheese? This simple goat cheese starter kit is great for beginners. Equipped with goat cheese molds, culture, and a recipe booklet, you have everything you need to get started. Goat milk not included.

The Cheese Cellar

Claire Marti and Rosemary in the Cellar at Mas Alba Girona Spain by AuthenticFoodQuest
Claire and Rosemary surrounding holding a goat cheese with Martí in the cellar

The cheese cellar in the basement is where the magic happens once the goats have done their job and produced milk.

Every single step is completed by hand. We were surprised by the labor-intensive nature of goat cheese making.

Soft goat cheese and hard cheese are carefully rotated at different times to age and mature for the best flavors. 

The youngest cheeses at Mas Alba are ready in about ten days, while others mature for up to two years in the cellar.

READ MORE: How to Have Amazing Catalan Food in Costa Brava

Mas Alba Goat Cheese Tasting

Goat Cheese Tasting Mas Alba Girona Spain by AuthenticFoodQuest
A sampling of five Mas Alba goat cheeses

During our visit to Mas Alba, we tasted five of the seven kinds of goat cheeses offered. Each one with a unique taste and story.

Two Soft Goat Cheese

The first cheese, Petitot, was a mild and soft cheese that tasted like salted yogurt. This was one of Martí’s first cheeses and the most classic of the goat cheeses.

We then tried the Pla, which is a common Catalan last name that means flat. It is a brie cheese made with goat milk. A young and soft cheese, we found the taste to be mild and slightly dry.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you love cheese and are looking for a wide variety of award-winning cheeses, this Original Gourmet Cheese Club is for you. Featuring three small batch artisan cheeses, you can enjoy award-winning artisanal cheeses delivered to your home each month.

Blue Goat Cheese

Taste Goat Cheese From Spain: The Story behind Mas Alba Girona Cheesemaking 1
Voler Volar surprises with a pleasantly mild flavor

Voler Volar, the blue soft goat cheese, was the most striking. Voler volar refers to the Catalan word for willing to fly

Like any typical blue cheese, this variety made with goat milk had many blue fungus spots.

The taste was pleasantly mild and almost fruity. 

This unique blue cheese made with goat milk was Rosemary’s favorite.

Goat Cheese Matured with Beer

One surprising goat cheese we tasted was Uff, a goat cheese matured with a local Girona beer

This goat cheese taste was strong and pungent. I didn’t mind the taste, which reminded me of a Maroilles, a strong cheese from the north of France. 

An acquired taste, Rosemary didn’t care much for it.

RELATED: Enjoy Catalan Wines at Five Stunning Wineries in Costa Brava

Hard Goat Cheese Tasting

We finished our tasting with El Terros, a mild hard goat cheese. Typically aged for 12 months, the one we sampled had matured for nine months.

Where to Find Mas Alba Girona Goat Cheese

Goat Cheese Plate Mas Alba Girona Spain Authentic Food Quest
Nice selection of cheeses from Mas Alba

Mas Alba cheeses are sold at the farmhouse. If you have the chance to visit, we strongly recommend not leaving without buying one of Martí’s cheeses.

Mas Alba is currently not accepting online orders, but you can find a variety of Mas Alba cheeses sold at specialty shops in Barcelona and Girona.

Alternatively, you can also have artisanal goat cheese from Spain delivered to your home.

Where to Stay in Girona Near Mas Alba

View the city from Girona Medieval City Walls by Authentic Food Quest
Girona is a charming Medieval city

The best place to stay near Mas Alba is in Girona, a charming and quaint Medieval city.

Girona is less than 30-minute away from Mas Alba.. One of the easiest ways to get around in the region is to rent a car.

Alternatively, you can also take the bus 602 or take a Uber or a Taxi instead.

Girona Boutique Hotels

For a mix of apartment stays with all the modern amenities and conveniences, these Girona boutique hotels come highly recommended.

La Comuna Residence Boutique

Taste Goat Cheese From Spain: The Story behind Mas Alba Girona Cheesemaking 2
Charming room with a kitchen Photo credit: Nice2stay on Facebook

Nestled in the old town of Girona, La Comuna Residence offers Catalan charm in each of the quaint rooms.

Some of the rooms have fully equipped kitchens, where you can enjoy Catalan food at your convenience. The onsite specialty coffee shop with locally grown organic food should not be missed.

Rooms include air-conditioning, onsite parking, and stunning exposed stone walls.

See prices, read reviews, or to find similar boutique residences, check: Booking.com 

Hotel Nord 1901

Nord 1901 Mas Alba Girona by Authentic Food Quest
Relax by this beautiful pool – Photo credit: Nord 1901 Suites & Apartments on Facebook

Just steps from Girona Cathedral, the charming Hotel Nord 1901 is centrally located to popular restaurants and cafes.

This family-run hotel has a beautiful garden terrace and a garden-lined swimming pool. 

With a delicious breakfast buffet, room service, and access to massages in your room, the amenities are unbeatable.

See prices, read reviews, or to find similar boutique hotels, check: Booking.com 

Girona Luxury Apartments

Girona also offers amazing apartments to stay in the old town. We had the chance to stay at two exceptional locations.

Salieti Palace Iin Girona

Salieti Palace in Girona Costa Brava Spain by Authenticfoodquest
The staircase at the Salieti Palace in Girona

The first apartment we stayed in was Salieti Palace, in the Old City. This striking 14th-century house was renovated by the architect Rafael Masó in 1911. 

The architecture of the building is quite exceptional, with an inner courtyard, a staircase, arches, and windows in a neo-gothic style. 

If you love the medieval architecture of the Game of Thrones, this is your ideal place.

See prices, read reviews, or to find similar luxury apartments, check: Booking.com 

Plaça Catalunya in Girona

Placa Catalunya Mas Alba by Authentic Food Quest
Enjoy the view of Girona from your apartment

The second apartment we stayed at is located on Plaça Catalunya near the Medieval Wall stairs and Mercat del Lleo, the local market.

This well-equipped and modern two-bedroom apartment has a wonderful patio to enjoy the views of the Medieval walls. 

A fully equipped kitchen including a coffee machine and free Wi-Fi, makes it a comfortable home away from home.

See prices, read reviews, or to find similar luxury apartments, check: Booking.com 

More About The Mas Alba Girona Goat Cheese Farm

A short ride from the farmhouse, the goat farm helped us truly understand the magic behind Mas Alba cheeses.

Naturally Raised and Fed Goats

Goats Goat Cheese Makers by Authentic Food Quest
Mas Alba’s goats, famous for their delectable cheese

The goats at Mas Alba, are a special breed from the South of Spain, near Andalusia, and are highly sought after by goat cheese makers.

According to Martí, this particular breed is known for making soft and delicious goat cheese. 

While touring the goat farm, we learned that the goats are raised organically, feeding naturally on the herbs and grass growing on the property.

The goats are milked daily, and the process is gentle to keep the goats stress-free. 

Visitors who stay at the farmhouse can see the goat milking process, as well as tour the goat farm.

RELATED: Cabras de Cafayate: How To Visit A Surprising Goat Farm in Argentina

Guided Tour of Mas Alba

Marti at the Goat Farm Girona Spain by AuthenticFoodQuest
Martí showing us the milking process

Mas Alba offers tours of the goat farm with cheese tasting every day during the summer season and every weekend during the off-season months.

The tour lasts one and a half hours. You will visit the goat farm, observe the milking process, tour the facility, and most importantly – taste the cheese.

Cheese tasting at Mas Alba is a popular activity. It is not unusual to find more than 20 people visiting the dairy every day.

It is highly recommended to book your visit at least two days in advance. At the time of our visit, pricing for adults was 10 € euros per person and free for children.  

READ MORE: Gambas de Palamos: A Fascinating Day in the Life of a Fisherman

Staying at Casa Rural Mas Alba

Mas Alba Farmhouse by AuthenticFoodQuest
Peaceful outdoors at Mas Alba

With a capacity of up to seventeen guests, the Mas Alba Farmhouse has six rooms ready to welcome visitors. 

The 18th-century farmhouse offers a quiet escape from the bustle of city life. There is a swimming pool on the property as well as facilities for outdoor grilling. Breakfast is included with your booking.

Located in the town of Terradellas, Mas Alba is about 30 minutes by rental car from Girona or one hour from Barcelona.

For reservations, contact Mas Alba directly.

Casa Rural Mas Alba – Formatgeria

MAS ALBA 1748 S.L.

Mas Huguet 17468

Terradellas, Girona, Spain

[email protected]  

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Disclosure: Special thanks to Costa Brava Tourism Board and Mas Alba for having us on this tour. All views and opinions expressed are our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too!

15 Comments on “Taste Goat Cheese From Spain: The Story behind Mas Alba Girona Cheesemaking”

  1. What an experience this must have been, to actually witness the process and learn about how Goat Cheese is made. I’m sure this made you appreciate goat cheese more! It’s one of my favorite cheeses and I wouldn’t mind a tour like this!

    • That’s great to hear Tami. At Mas Alba, if you can actually assist in some light tasks in the taking care of the goats and the goat cheese making process. If your travels take you to Girona, Spain, we highly recommend visiting. Thanks, Tami

  2. My daughter is dating a foreign exchange student from Catalonia. I’ll have to ask him if he’s sampled the cheese yet. It’s an amazing story of a self-taught cheese making. It’s so impressive how far one can go with with a little grit and a few YouTube videos for guidance.

    • We could not agree more, Melissa, we have to support local artisans who are reviving and keeping lost traditions alive. The Mas Alba story is a wonderful story and it’s great that they share it with the world. Cheers.


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