The production area of Cabrales cheese includes the Council of Cabrales and three towns bordering the Council of Peñamellera Alta.
It is elaborated from raw cow's milk throughout the year and during the months of June and July it is mixed with milk from sheep and goat.
Denomination of Origin Cabrales Cheese
Its appearance before the denomination of origin (1981) and the constitution of Regulatory Council (All the milk used in the elaboration comes exclusively from farms established in the area of production and controlled by this Council), it could be more romantic (wrapped as it was in sheets of banana), but after all, appearances have always appearances. Now, stuffed as it is in a more commercial and hygienic suit, it has not lost its essence: that strong smell and that powerful, semi-hard, buttery taste and intense aftertaste on the palate. Its constitution has not lost royalty with the new times and continues to present that unctuous bark, brown, with the blue-green interiors that creates the penicillium. It is said that it has more than a millennium of life and eating it almost nobody doubts that the tradition has to be deep.
It remains the same although today, when it is ready for consumption, it is wrapped in green aluminum foil, completing the packaging with the label of the manufacturer and the back label of the Regulatory Council (a red band flanked by two green bands and the logo of the Council with the corresponding numbering). There is no suspicion about their usual taste or possible suspicions about their origin or their elaboration. Ask about Cabrales in Asturias, and eat Cabrales really, is currently the norm.
Cabrales Cheese Contest
In this way you can taste Cabrales anywhere in Asturias. In any town or city, winch or restaurant, store or supermarket. Anyway, from Asturias we recommend that if you have not tried it, never have your initiation into the land that bears your name, because there, surrounded by high mountains, cows and pastures, it is sure to taste even better. If it is possible, it is also desirable to go to the last Sunday in August to Cabrales Cheese Contest, which is always celebrated in Arenas de Cabrales, beating each year the record of the records in cheese sales.
Cabrales Cheese Contest
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In events like this, the visitor will notice the popular reasons that have made this cheese famous, as well as the sociability that it arouses, running from post to post, and from village to village and serving as a protagonist in numerous Asturian country jays. You can quote here the Quesu de Cuerres Fair, the 10 of August, spends the afternoon in a crowded way in a small town of Ribadesella, drinking cider and eating cheese insitu and other products of the land until well into the night. Cheese Cheese Fair
We return to Cabrales for a moment, the cradle of all this expectation and popularity, and we find the caves where the cheese matures from two to five months. There are organized visits that explain all the previous life of Cabrales before consumption and that take us to know those caves. There it makes a cool temperature and high humidity (relative humidity of 90% and temperature of between 8º and 12º C.), and the smell of the cheese in an internal process of healing floods the environment. There is nobody who leaves a cave of these and that does not banish, if it had them, those unfounded beliefs that the cheese of Cabrales must take worms or is cured between manure. Nothing is further from reality.
Gastronomy and Cabrales Cheese
It is best to eat it drinking strong wines, spirits, ciders and marcs. And the best thing is to learn to taste it, eat it with prudence and a little bit of culinary wisdom, because eating Cabrales cheese is not anything. Enjoy your meal!
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Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com