Saturday, 14 May 2016

Natural cave ripened blue vein cheese remembered

 Are you stuck on Stilton or gaga for Gouda? Do you crave Camembert? And have you come across Cabrales? If so, you just might be what is called a turophile, the ultimate cheese lover. From an irregular formation of the Greek word for cheese, tyros, plus the English -phile, meaning "lover" (itself a descendant of the Greek -philos, meaning "loving"), turophile first named cheese aficionados as early as 1938.
My two all time favourite cheeses are both blue veined and unfortunately happen to be very hard to find.Dolcelatte  is a blue veined Italian soft cheese. The cheese is made from cow's milk, and has a sweet taste. Its name translates from Italian to 'sweet milk' in English.Dolcelatte was developed for the British market to provide a milder smelling and tasting alternative to the famous traditional Italian blue cheese, Gorgonzola,and that is probably why it is impossible to find in the Algarve. My best loved cheese however is the Spanish Cabrales.
All Spanish blue cheeses come from the same geographical area in the Picos de Europa mountain range in north-central Spain or, more specifically, in the triangle formed by the provinces of León, Asturias and Cantabria, a natural paradise for cheese-making. The many natural caves in which the cheeses are stored while ripening offer ideal conditions for spontaneous generation of the mold. Some of these cheeses, such as  Cabrales, are the Spanish contribution to the top-ranking blue cheeses, standing alongside Roquefort, Gorgonzola and Stilton. Last weekend at a party which casa rosada was catering two guests who we had met on a previous occasion hosted by the same person, presented us with a cabrales cheese.How exhilirated was I and thank you so much Philip and Karen of Rippon cheese in London.
The advice given in the proverb 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth is: when receiving a gift be grateful for what it is; don't imply you wished for more by assessing its value.We certainly didn´t. 
If Cabrales is difficult to find in your area, it can be ordered on-line.Tienda.com is one source but it is also available in the Uk from Brindisa and also our kind donors Rippon Cheese

What to drink with Cabrales: Not many wines can accompany the intense flavor of Cabrales cheese without being wiped out on the palate. An aged Oloroso sherry, with sweet hints, is a good alternative to offset the sting and to harmonize with the cheese's creamy texture,my second choice would of course be Albariño. This fragrant Spanish white varietal is a smooth match, and make sure you have plenty of fresh crusty bread to hand.Cabrales is also excellent for melting on a fine steak.

A bite of heavenly Spanish tapas

Bocaditos de Cabrales
100 gr Cabrales cheese
30 gr flour
500 ml semi-skimmed milk
salt
15 gr butter
1 egg
300 gr breadcrumbs
olive oil
Blend the Cabrales cheese, flour, milk and salt in a blender or food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan and slowly add the mixture of cheese, milk and flour stirring all the time. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture reaches boiling point. Pour the cheese paste into a wide dish and let it cool completely. Once the paste is cold, cut it into small bite-sized portions. Dip the cheese bites into the beaten egg and then cover them with breadcrumbs. Fry the cheese bites in a generous amount of hot olive oil. Serve hot.
Thank you again Philip and Karen for "remembering" and presenting us with this great cheese.Needless to say it has all been eaten.
Should you want to purchase some Cabrales yourself,visit their shop pictured above in Pimlico.
020 7931 0628 or 020 7931 0668
Mon - Fri 8.00 - 16.30
Sat 8.30 - 17.00
Sun closed

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