Clara Diez and her Iberian cheese

CLARA DIEZ (3) - UNE

A real cheese lover, Clara Diez puts Spain and its lacto-fermentation on centre stage. With her FORMAJE shop in Madrid, she promotes the producers of all the regions of her country, for the pleasure of our taste buds.

 

Follow Clara Diez on Instagram: @claradiez
On the cover photo, Clara is wearing our IKATOWN hoodie (in oliveraie) and TIZANIE jeans.

Hello, Clara! What is your background with artisanal cheese? 

The first time that I tried Rey Silo, a cheese from the north of Spain with a mould rind, I realised that cheese was much deeper and more complex than what I had imagined.

 

 

How did you decide to create your own shop? 

When it comes to cheese, I like the product as much as the process, as well as the human dimension. People put their lifestyle aside to create a product from their land that would disappear without them. Cheese links us to the terroir, to a culture, and all of this is transmitted to us through flavours. I founded FORMAJE with my husband Adrián one year ago, working hand in hand with small producers in order to share their values and know-how with my clients. 

 

How can you recognise a good cheese? 

Ask your cheesemonger! There are also some visual clues to lead you in the right direction. For creamy cheeses, an overly thick rind is not a good sign. And if they’re too runny, then they are too mature. For hard cheeses, avoid ones that are “sweating”: this means that they are either too old or have been stored at the wrong temperature.

 

 

Any tips for cheese sampling?

I like to eat cheese on its own, but it also pairs nicely with grapes, walnuts and olives. The most important thing is good bread and butter (I love having butter on the table!) and a well-chosen wine for perfect harmony.

 

Which Iberian specialities do you recommend?

For a cheese plate to share with friends, I would opt for Queixo do País from Galicia, Divirín (from Cantabria), Puigpedrós (from Girona) and a Moluengo (Albacete). Personally, I love Zamorano (similar to Manchego, but not as well-known) and Bejes Tresviso, a very mild blue. I adore “torta” cheeses from Extremadura, as well as Casin cheese, made in Asturias using an ancient technique. It has a very distinctive taste.

 

Clara is wearing the OOKLAOMA trench coat (in jade) and the VEGIFLOWER T-shirt (in almond green).

 

How do you mix cheese and an eye-catching Instagram account?

For me, cheese is very aesthetic. It fascinates me and I love taking photos of it. I also pay close attention to my clothing. It’s a way of expressing myself: I send a message with each of my outfits. Ever since I was little, I’ve loved flared cuts, basics and neutral colours – wide-leg trousers and simple shirts are my uniform. And, for me, quality has always been more important than quantity, like good American Vintage basics: timeless and made of natural beautiful materials.

Production : 3chicshowroom

AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.