In Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic, just about two blocks away from Plaça de Sant Jaume, on Carrer Dagueria 16, you can find a great little cheese shop, called Formatergia La Seu. The first thing you see as you walk in, is a large walk-in fridge, and on its shelves, displayed with pride, the selection of cheeses that is available for purchase or for a taste…
All cheese is hand-picked by the founder and proprietor, Katherine McLaughlin, at the farms where they are produced. Originally from Scotland, Katherine has lived in Barcelona for more than 20 years, and turned her passion for cheese into a unique business.
The shop stocks around 20 hand crafted cheeses, made in limited quantities, which are sourced from small independent producers. They are stored in optimum conditions in the temperature and humidity controlled walk-in fridge.
Several of the cheeses have been classified “D.O.P.” (Protected Designation of Origin) – this is a European Union scheme for products which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how. An example, below, is the San Simon da Costa.
The cheeses are sourced from all over Spain, and made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk, and are individually wrapped and can be boxed on request. Vacuum packing is not offered, as Katherine feels that her cheese deserves better care and respect.
Quince, olives and sun dried tomatoes of excellent quality are also available – they complement the various cheeses beautifully. Don’t hesitate to ask Katherine for advice about the best combinations – she knows what she is talking about!
At the back of the shop, up a couple of steps, evidence can be found of the shop’s former use as a butter factory. Carefully looked after, the churning machine takes pride of place within the various decorative elements.
In this part of the shop, Katherine hosts seated tasting sessions for a maximum of eight people and serves a small (but very good) selection of wines.
The cosy shop has been decorated using flea market finds and gifts from friends, as well as the utensils of the Katherine’s trade. It is obvious that everything has been carefully chosen and given its place with care, within this little bit of cheese heaven, and the result is an inviting and unique place that customers keep returning to year after year.
Personally, I love the cute terra cotta palette plates and wine glasses that Katherine uses for the cheese tasting. Fortunately, they can also be bought and are a great memento to take with you if you live abroad.
Once wrapped, your purchase will be sealed with a pretty sticker – another example of the attention to detail that is so in character with this delightful shop and its owner.