The cows pasture most of the year on the estate in Son Mercer de Baix, and when there is a shortage, they receive a hay and cereal based supplement. This translates into less milk production per animal although better quality for the cheese, also the animals are healthier and live longer.
The Artisanal Mahón-Menorca ( formatjat ) cheese manufacturing process following very old practices transmitted from fathers to sons, is still carried out today. In Son Mercer de Baix we continue to manufacture using milk recently milked, i.e. manufacturing morning and evening all year round.
Unlike the other kind of “Mahón Menorca” manufactured in plastic moulds imitating the square shape of the “Artisanal Mahón-Menorca” moulded by hand (one by one) introducing the pieces of whey in cotton cloths ( fogasser ) and using a stick ( lligam ) to press and eliminate serum over several intervals of time, thus requiring much harder work.
The work in the cellars is daily, frequently turning the cheeses and supervising rind evolution. After several weeks we coat the rind with a mixture of olive oil and paprika, creating that characteristic colour which varies according to ripening time, i.e. orange in the semi-ripe and brown in the ripest. It is usually spattered with white mould stains, results of the refining flora, guaranteeing its authenticity, likewise the absence of paints and anti-fungicides.
Another differentiating characteristic of our cheese is the amount of salt, adapting the cheese to current tastes and prolonging ripening at a controlled temperature. The result is a very balanced cheese with many aromatic and taste nuances.
In Son Mercer de Baix we make Protected Designation of Origin Artisanal Mahón-Menorca Cheese with different levels of ripeness according to size of the cheese and at a temperature always higher than that marked by the Designation of Origin.
SON MERCER DE BAIX SEMI-RIPE CHEESE
- • Formats: 0.7kg approx. 2 to 4 months. 1kg approx. 2 to 4 months. 2.2 kg approx. 3 to 5 months. Also wedges of different sizes.
- • It has a lactic, clean animal and damp cellar aroma. It is very buttery, slightly adhesive to the palate and with good solubility.
- • In the mouth it has a pleasant acidity mixed with butter notes and an aftertaste reminiscent of dried fruits (raw hazelnut)
SON MERCER DE BAIX RIPE CHEESE
- • Formats: 2.2 kg approx. 6 to 9 months. Also wedges of different sizes.
- • It has a more intense aroma reminiscent of clean leather, animal and ripening cellar.
- • Texture is somewhat more reliable, although it is still very buttery.
- • In the mouth it preserves a very elegant acidity and well-integrated as a whole. Notes of tanned leather, aged wood and advanced ripening appear with a slight aftertaste of dried fruits and a very pleasant piquancy. It has a high persistence in the mouth with salty notes that do not stand out from the whole.