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Cabrales Cheese

Cabrales cheese - Asturias

Introducing Asturias and its renowned blue cheese: Quesu Cabrales, a traditional artisan product which hails from the county of Cabrales in the heart of the Picos de Europa. Made year round from cow’s milk, this tasty cheese is unique in that, whenever available, cow, sheep, and goat’s milks are used in combination to create the characteristic aromas and flavours of Cabrales, one of the best blues in the world.

Traditionally, the villages of Tielve and Sotres are known for their excellent Cabrales Cheese. In recent years, dairies all over the county have begun to make a name for themselves as well.

How Cabrales Cheese is made

The first stage of cheese production takes places in the dairy, where the milk is heated slightly and a curdling agent is added. The curd is later separated from the whey and placed in round molds, which give the cheese its shape. Salt is added and, after 2 weeks in the drying room at the dairy, the cheese is taken to a nearby natural cave in the Picos de Europa to be aged. There, the famous penicillium roqueforti comes in contact with a dry, hard, white cheese. As it develops inside tiny air pockets in the cheese, the penicillium dramatically changes the colour, texture and flavor of the cheese, which becomes softer and bluer over time. While ageing in the cave, each cheese must be carefully cleaned and turned as it ferments. After about 3 months, a marvelous delicacy is ripe for the picking, the true “queso de Cabrales”.

Characteristics of “Queso de Cabrales”

Cabrales is a creamy, spreadable blue cheese. White or cream-coloured at first, it becomes bluer with age, as blue or blue-green veins appear throughout. The crust or rind is really just a moist outer layer, which is light orange to light grey in colour. With its potent aroma and long-lasting taste, Cabrales cheese was the first in Asturias to be conferred a designation of origin. Producers must abide by the standards established by the regulating council.

Many tasty recipes can be made with this excellent ingredient, which pairs well with the Asturian specialty called tortos de maíz, a sort of corn chapattis traditional in this region. Delicious. ¡Buen provecho!

 

Picture | Flickr

Original article in Spanish by


Cheeses, Designation of Origin · Escrito por el 01/05/12


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