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Spanish Cheeses - Mixed Milk Cheeses

Cabrales, Picon and Valdeon

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Valdeon Cheese from Spain

Valdeon Cheese from Spain

(c) 2011 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com Inc.

Mixed cheeses are generally the mixture of milk from two or three types of animals. Castilla-Leon and Castilla-La Mancha are the primary regions for these types of cheeses.

Cabrales: A blue cheese from the mountain range, Picos de Europa in Northern Spain, matured in limestone caves for 2 to 5 months. With a distinctively strong, tangy flavor and powerful smell, it is soft and creamy and has bluish-green streaks running through it. The rind is sticky and soft and is gray or brown. Traditionally, Cabrales was wrapped in leaves, such as chestnut or fig leaves. Since this is no longer permitted, it is wrapped in aluminum foil with pictures of leaves printed on it.

Picón: A three-milk blue cheese from the mountains of Picos de Europa in the Northern region of Cantabria. It has a sticky, soft rind that is gray, with yellowish-green spots. The cheese itself is white with bluish-green veins running through it. It is particularly creamy and tangy, and was traditionally wrapped in leaves. Picón is aged for a minimum of 2 months in caves.

Valdeon: This cheese, a type of Spanish blue cheese is produced in the Valdeon Valley in the northwest area of the Castilla-Leon region. The valley is in the Picos de Europa mountain range. The cheese is made year-round from cow or goat milk, or a mixture of the two. Once again, Valdeon cheese is aged until it obtains just the right flavor and texture – somewhere between semi-cured and cured. It is an off-white color, with many green-grey veins running through it and holes throughout, and is wrapped in leaves from the Sycamore tree. It is a very strong-flavored cheese, tangy and a bit spicy. It can be used for any sauce requiring blue cheese. The recommended wines to accompany this cheese are a dry white or red (not crianza).

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