Cabrales

Region: Spain (Asturias)
Milk: sheep or a mix of cow, sheep and goat’s milk
Texture: semi hard

Cabrales is a Spanish cheese from the Asturias region with a strong smell and potent flavor. The cheese is semi-hard with a soft rind. The interior of the cheese is creamy white to yellow with blue streaks.

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 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 mold 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. If you have Cabrales on your cheeseboard, it's always good to have plenty of grapes or pears. Go for a mild and fruity chutney like mango or sweet apple as this cheese can easily knock your socks off! 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.