Must admit that I am not very well versed in Spanish cheese. Manchego of course. And the I once bought an insanely good cheese at the Malaga airport, Spain that is. I remember the taste, but have no idea of what cheese it was. Except that it was quite small, kind of portion cheese and relatively soft. Maybe it was a little blue, as well, but that’s just speculation. However, it brings me to another cheese that is on my list, namely
Unpasteurized blue cheese from Asturias in northern Spain. It’s around the middle of the Spanish Biscay coast, just west of Bilbao. And a little inland. Are you going there, go visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao as well. Enough of that.
Cow and cow and / or !
Basically a cow’s milk cheese, but it can also be mixed with goat and/or sheep’s milk. Especially when it is mixed cheese it has a strong taste. Anyway a very, very good cheese, by all means. I do not have much experience with this cheese, but it is claimed that this is perhaps Europe’s best blue cheese. Hence obviously the interest from my side.
A DO-cheese. Or PDO in EU language. That is the origin protection. For example, should you make Cabrales, the milk needs come only from animals born and raised in Asturias, more specifically the mountains called Picos de Europa. As with so many blue cheeses this is also matured in caves. Limestone caves just up in the Picos de Europa mountains. Two to five months.
Originally, this cheese was wrapped in maple leaves. But that was previously. Now it is required that it is packed in dark green aluminum foil. Are you on a trip, then it may happen that you’ll find a cheese that is still wrapped in maple leaves. However, it is outside the rules, you know. Then you at least know it is an artisanal cheese.
Good as it is so it is also frequently used for cooking. Including hot sauces, or just melted over grilled meat. But eat it plain. Some good country style bread with fresh figs, but also good with some quality salami or other regional dried sausages.
This cheese goes well with a mature, full bodied Spanish red wine. Local cider as well, or a somewhat sweet sherry. No, not Bristol Cream. Rather a Lustau VOS Oloroso 20 Years. Not cheap, but then it’s a good cheese, too.