The cabrales cheese is more than a simple dairy product, because it also has a deep cultural and artisan background. It is the most well known identity in Asturias and out of the Spanish territory. It has the best quality among the cheeses produced in this region so for that it requires the best quality on its production and must also avoid any possible fraud as regards its origin.
It is made of cow milk along the whole year but during June and July it also mixes with milk of sheep and goat.
The area of elaboration covers the municipality of Cabrales and three other border towns belonging to the municipality of Peñamellera Alta.
Regulator Counsel of Cabrales Cheese
This dairy product obtained the appellation d’origine in 1981 and it also required the formation of a Regulator Counsel (all the milk used in the process of elaboration must come from the established cattle in the area of production as well as it must be under the control of this same counsel). Now this exquisite product is carefully wrapped keeping it in the best hygienic conditions but, on the other hand, it has not lost its pure essence: its strong smell and taste and its most deep character among the rest of cheeses. Despite the fact that it has been producing throughout many time, it still keeps the same size and cover as in its first times, with its particular green and blue colour in the inside. It is thought that it has more than a millennium of life so, as we can see the tradition is still kept.
In spite of the passing of time, this product remains as in old times. When it is ready for consuming then it is wrapped in green aluminium foil, being finished this process by imposing on it the label of the producer together with the contra-label of the Regulator Counsel (a red band crossed by two other green bands with the logotype of the Counsel and its corresponding numbers). By doing this, there is no possible doubt about its origin and elaboration. All the people visiting this region never doubt in tasting this regional and famous product, the cheese of Cabrales.
Cabrales Cheese Fair
We can taste this cheese at any place in this region. We can find it in any town or city, snack bar or restaurant, shop or supermarket. Our advice is to taste it for the first time in the area it is produced, since this area is surrounded by high mountains, cows and pastures so it is supposed here it tastes better. If it is possible we can attend the last Sunday of August to the contest of the Cabrales Cheese Feria which is celebrated in Arenas of Cabrales where the sales of this cheese increase each year.
In this kind of events, the visitor can realize the reasons for which this cheese is so famous. It also encourages sociability and one can go from one stall to another tasting this delicious cheese or even going from one town to the next in this area and doing at the same time tourism and tasting the best local food. On the 10th of August there is another festivity of cheese in Cuerres, a little town in the municipality of Ribadesella, where apart from cheese we can also drink cider and other many local products.
Now we can back to Cabrales again, the main point in producing this type of cheese where we find the caves where this cheese is left from two to five months in order to mature. Here there are some organized visits which explain us the life in Cabrales before and after the production of cheese. We can also visit the caves where it matures. Inside these caves there is a high degree of humidity (more than 90% of humidity and the temperature is around 8¼ and 12¼ C). The strong smell of this cheese comes from this particular environment.
Gastronoy and Cabrales Cheese
Throughout time this cheese has been growing in importance in and out of this region and even today it is also known out of the limits of Spain. Its delicious taste, high quality and analogy have made of this cheese one of the most famous products of this country. Now, we can rub this cheese over a toast of bread or use it in cooking, in which we can find many different sauces made of this cheese and it is also good as complement for meat and greens.
The best option is just to eat it while drinking a good wine, cider or grape spirits. We can also learn how to taste it best, because tasting Cabrales cheese means also tasting its culture and deep background.
Enjoy your meal!
Elaboration of Cabrales Cheese
If we talk about making cheese Cabrales must mention the Quesería Maín, located in the village of Sotres cabraliega. A cheese high in a village high. They have already received “Best Award Cabrales cheese in 2011 and 2014”. Who is at the controls is Jessica, heiress to a traditional way of elaboration, which also currently offers guided tours of the cheese factory, to the cave where they mature cheese and rich tasting visits Cabrales cheese.
They delighted to welcome and tell all the intricacies of his craft!
It advance booking you can do on the phone 618 938 044 is required.
If you want to know more about their cheeses you can visit Maín Cheese-maker