Spanish Cheese Cabrales
Cabrales Cheese Details 2Cabrales Cheese Details 2 Cabrales Cheese Details 1Cabrales Cheese Details 1
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Spanish Cheese Cabrales

The Cabrales cheese is a Spanish greasy cheese with a natural rind, produced by hand with milk from cows, sheep, and goat, or a mixture of them. Considered by many one of the best blue cheese of the world, Cabrales cheese is one of the traditional foods of Spain. Its production is controlled by the Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) obtained in 1981, and it is elaborated in the area of the municipality of Cabrales and a few towns of the Council of Peñamellera Alta, in Asturias. It is now available to you through Ham Cheese Wine in the U.S.

The Cabrales cheese has hardly any bark. It has a creamy and soft surface similar to the inside. When it's ripe the cheese has a blue-green color and the core is creamy with a very strong odor. Higher amounts of cow's milk can make this Spanish cheese more yellow, but generally it has a white coloration. The Cabrales cheese has a creamy consistency, although with different degrees of cohesion, according to the degree of fermentation of the cheese. It is compact and without eyes. The smell of this Spanish cheese is slightly spicy, more pronounced when it is made from sheep's and goat's milk, pure or mixed.

The milk to make the Cabrales cheese comes from herds of cows, sheep and goats grazing in the mountains of Asturias. The raw cow's milk is mixed with two or three kinds of milk, of goat, sheep or cow. The farmers make their own cheese at home which is aired for four weeks in well ventilated places and then is left between two and four months curing in natural caves of the Picos de Europa.

When the Cabrales cheese is ready, it is wrapped in green aluminium foil. The package is completed with the manufacturer's label and the back label of the Control Board, consisting of a red stripe flanked by two green bands and the Regulatory Council logo with the corresponding number. Formerly the cheese was wrapped in plantain’s leaves, which was a cheaper way to package it, but that did not meet the acceptable sanitary conditions and it favored the fraud of wrapping any blue cheese in plantain’s leaves, exploiting the prestige of the Cabrales cheese.

At the end of maturation, which happens in natural caves located in the mountains, the Cabrales cheese has the following external features: cylindrical shape, flat faces, height 7-15 inches, weight and diameter variables. The bark is soft, thin, oily, and gray with yellow-red areas.
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