One of the charismatic Spanish cheeses is Valdeon. This is a piquant blue cheese made from cow’s and goat’s milk, sometimes ewe’s milk. It is made with blue Penicillium mould and formed into wheels from 500g to 3kg. It is buttery and a little caramelized with a sharp tang, It has an excellent balance of sweet and tangy perfect to finish a meal with a little quince paste, (Membrillo).
Valdeon is made in a valley high in the Picos de Europa in the province of Castilla y Leon in the north east of Spain. Here the herds of animals graze in the mountain valley pastures and the cheese made from their milk aged in the natural caves in the mountains above. The region is not far from the coast and subsequent high rainfall sees a humid climate that encourages the development of the microbial flora that helps develop the cheeses as they age.
The cheeses are wrapped in sycamore leaves or chestnut leaves after they have matured.