Valdeon Picos Cheese. Picos Blue Cheese, also known as Valdeon is really tasty. Likewise, it is favoured by those who want a strong spicy blue cheese like Roquefort or Gorgonzola.
Picos de Europa is a Spanish blue cheese produced in Valdeon Valley of Castile-Leon region of northwestern Spain. The Picos Blue Cheese is made from a mixture of cow, and sometimes goat or ewe’s milk and matured. Made all year round with cow and goat’s milk the cheese has very dense blue veining.
The paste of Valdeon has a soft, granular texture and pale yellow colour. It is full of small cavities filled with blue moulds. The cheese is covered by a coarse, inconsistent rind in dark grey shades with little red marks. To sum up, Valdeon is very strong and spicy in taste similar to Roquefort.
Serving Valdeon Picos Cheese
A powerful smelling cheese, the buttery paste is perfect for preparing any kind of blue cheese sauce. Served on warm toast, this can make a delicious snack. However, the rich smell of the cheese also goes well with fresh fruit. Partner it with a robust strong red wine like Rioja, or with a fortified wine like sherry.
Production of Valdeon Picos Cheese
Made by the Picos de Europa dairy, based in the Picos Mountains of Northern Spain; the cheeses are matured in caves and old mines for about 6 weeks. The goat’s milk gives the cheese and added kick, although there is some variation depending on the age of the cheese. This cheese is made with the famous Penicillium Roqueforti mould. For example, think of Stilton, Roquefort or Gorgonzola for example.
The Picos de Europa, the peaks of Europe, is aptly named, towering over the wooded foothills and tiny villages, therefore providing a safe-haven for the millions of tiny blue spores that lurk in the limestone caves. Since leaf wrapping is not allowed these days, it comes wrapped in leaf printed aluminium foil. It’s been awarded a status of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) to regulate the production, processing and preparation of the cheese.
In 2005, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food granted Picos Blue Cheese an award for best Blue Veined Spanish Cheese. In addition, it also got a Silver Award at the World Cheese Awards in 2015.