Cabrales, also known as Quesu Cabrales, Queso de Cabrales or Cabraliego, is a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) awarded, Spanish semi-hard, fatty blue cheese, prepared within the administrative region of Cabrales Council and some towns in the Upper Peñamerella region. Both these areas are located at the foot of the Picos de Europa Mountains in Asturias.
The cheese is a mixture of raw cows, goats and sheep's milk aged for between two and four months in natural formed limestone caves. Chilly and humid conditions in the caves facilitate the growth of bluish-green penicillium mould on this highly prized cheese. Unlike other blue cheeses injected with penicillium, Cabrales cures from the outside of the cheese to the inward.
A finished Cabrales can be characterized by its strong, penetrating aroma and sharp, acidic, slightly salty taste. It pairs well with red wine, fresh figs, salami, sweet sherry and dry sausages. The cheese is treasured as a base for sauces, for melting over grilled or roasted meats and goes well along with baguette slices, crackers, or fruit.
Earlier, a traditional Cabrales was sold wrapped in moist leaves of Acer pseudoplatanus. But today regulation requires the cheese be sold in a dark-green-coloured aluminum foil with the stamp of the PDO Queso de Cabrales.
- Made from unpasteurized cow's, goat's and sheep's milk
- Country of origin: Spain
- Region: Asturias
- Family: Blue
- Type: semi-hard, artisan, blue-veined
- Fat content: 45%
- Texture: creamy and firm
- Rind: mold ripened
- Colour: blue
- Flavour: acidic, salty, sharp
- Aroma: strong
- Vegetarian: no
- Alternative spellings: Quesu Cabrales, Queso de Cabrales, Cabraliego
Other Spanish cheeses:
Castigliano, Dehesa De Los Llanos - Curado, Dehesa De Los Llanos - Gran Reserva, Gamonéu, Idiazábal, Queso del Tietar, Queso Iberico, Roncal, Zamorano
Dehesa De Los Llanos - Media Curación, Flor de Guia, Gamonéu, Garrotxa, Penamellera
La Peral, Leonora, Manchego, Monte Enebro, Picos de Europa, Queso de Murcia, Tronchon, Ulloa
Afuega'l Pitu, Cuajada, Flor de Guia, La Serena, Queso del Montsec, Selva, Tetilla, Torta del Casar, Tupí
fresh soft cheeses: