The Cornión, is a mountain range of great beauty that hides the gastronomic route of the cheese of Gamoneu, one of the most famous cheeses of Asturias. This kind of cheese is made only by artisans, something that gives this cheese an especial quality and taste which is really appreciated by customers.
This gastronomy is located in the heart of the National Park of the Peaks of Europe. This cheese matures in natural caves so for this reason, it keeps the pastoral aroma of this land. During spring and summer shepherds lead their cows, sheep and goats to the highest parts of the mountains in order to look for better pastures. From these animals we are going to obtain the best milk that we are later going to use to prepare the traditional cheese of Gamoneu.
This cheese takes its name from the old tradition of making cheeses in the councils of Onís and Cangas of Onís respectively. The first of these councils count with localities that have a long tradition in making artisan cheeses such as Bobias, Silviella, Avín, Talaveru, El Castru, Demués.
In the elaboration of this cheese, artisans use the milk of the morning and evening obtained from the milking of the day. Then we mix both milks and 24 hours later we obtain an acid curd whose serum needs to be taken out. A few days after artisans put cooking salt on the mixture while they stir it. Once this has been made, the cheese is put in a wooden room in a hut for fifteen days. After this, the cheese will complete its maturation in the natural caves of the mountains where it will stay for two months. During this time this cheese will take the mold of the cave that make it a mixture of red, grey and green colours. The paste of this cheese now turns dry, with a taste that is a bit spicy.
The unique taste of this cheese is well known in all the asturian territory and it is also the result of a long tradition that has gone from parents to sons along generations. The elaboration of this product is strictly natural and none of its ingredients is artificial.
The Gamoneu cheese is normally served cut in tacos, not thick but long. This cheese is often accompanied by a piece of good bread. Apart from being served alone, it can be used in creams, sauces and it can also be sprinkled over different salads. This cheese hides the pure taste of this region.
The best choice to know the Gamoneu cheese is just to visit the area in which it is produced, in the east of the region of Asturias. This area is probably the most important as regards the elaboration of cheeses of all Europe. Today this route is well known and includes visits to the caves and cheese shops. In a near future this route will also include guided visits to the huts located in the Peaks of Europe, where the most traditional cheeses are produced.
Another aim is to open new spaces to taste and sell these dairy products in the same centres of their elaboration. The new routes will be a real attraction for those cheese lovers.
In the localities of Cangas and Benia we will be given all the information about these traditional cheeses and their elaboration. We can also improvise a place to enjoy our meal in a field surrounded by the mountains, and we can also even improve our lunch with a bit of wine or cider.
The Gamoneu cheese has its own contest once a year in mid October in the locality of Benia of Onís. In this competition several tons of this cheese are sold. If you have the chance come here and enjoy the unique tastes of this region just in the middle of nature.