It all started when I opened my restaurant in 2015.
Portugal has a vast variety on local products. You can find the best wine at your own region, great bread in the next door small bakery and wonderful cheese at a county farmer.
For my tapas restaurant in Leiria, Portugal, I wanted something different, something a bit more special. I began to seek for products that you could not find so easily in local or major markets. My research started with one of my obsessions: cheese.
One day I came across this cheese with a very funny name, Caganita, which made me laugh a lot. I needed to taste it. I called the only place this was sold in my city and asked someone to bring it to my restaurant. I wanted to meet the famous Caganita.
When I tasted the cheese, I was instantly transported to another planet. The cheese was so spectacular, creamy, strong and unique.
The seller brought me a basket that completed the moment with the cheese, a homemade sweetchilli jelly, toast and two bottles of wine.
Soon after I decided to sell the Caganita. At first, restaurant clients did not responde well because of the strange name.
To explain: In Portuguese, caganita means, literally, ‘shit’.
But, some brave customers did not care about the name. If it was good, they wanted to try.
I changed the strategy. When customers chose a bottle of wine, I offered a Caganita to accompany. Eventually they fell in love with this particular cheese.
About the farmer ….
This cheese is from Alcanis, Guarda, Portugal. The producer had the idea after leaving his past work. He buys goat and sheep milk from other local farmers for his production.