Category Archives: Valdeon Azul Cheese

Valdeon Blue Cheese

Valdeon

A blue cheese made in the mountain range, Picos de Europa by a company called La Caseria. It is a bold and spicy blue made from seasonally blended milk of goats and cows that graze the Picos de Europa Mountains in Castilla y Leon. It is aged in caves with at 85% humidity. It is less intense than its cousin Cabrales because the Valdeon caves are a little drier.

It has aromas of damp earth, tobacco and vanilla when the wheel is first opened.  It has dense green-grey veining and a balance of salt and spice and if your palate is good you may even pick up a hint of chocolate and coffee beans. It is creamy but also a little gritty and definitely not for wimps. Valdeon makes a pretty package with its powdery white rind peeking out behind a protective layer of sycamore.

It’s a hearty blue that is less sharp than others, is dense and sweet with a feel of velvet on the tongue that loves fresh fruit and strong red wine like Beaujolais and Muscats or a sweet sherry. It is delicious with smoked and cured meats and to die for melted on top of a hanger steak. You can tone down the pungency by drizzling it with honey or a little melted butter and for these reasons it is great as a desert cheese.

Cheese Type: Blue

Milk Type: cow and sheep

Rennet: animal

Age: 3 months

Origin: Spain

Region: Castilla y Leon

 

Lentil salad with Valdeon Blue Cheese

IngredientsVeldon blue with lentils

One bag of Lentils

½ Onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 Bay Leaf

Red and Green Bell pepper chopped

Olive Oil

Plum Tomatoes

Shallot

Sherry vinegar

Valdeon Cheese

Directions

In a large pot of water, bring lentils, onion (leave in large chunks), garlic, bay leaf, and a small amount of olive oil to a boil. Meanwhile, dice the peppers and tomatoes and chill.

Cook the lentils until tender.  Strain lentils, removing aromatics, but reserving cooking liquid.  Add the lentils to the pepper and tomato, continue to chill.  Reduce the reserved flavorful liquid by about ½.

Once the lentils are cool, dress with vinegar, shallots and oil.  Garnish with chives and cheese.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Blue Cheese, Cheese, Chef Lippe, Lentil Salad, Valdeon Azul Cheese

Don’t worry! Moldy cheese happens even to the best of us.

Chef Lippe

Don’t worry! Moldy cheese happens even to the best of us.

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As a child my granny would tell us to just cut the mold off, which for some cheese is acceptable and some not so acceptable. So how do you tell the difference between good mold and bad mold?  Here are some tips to help you keep your cheese at its best.

Now that you have found us, and know that you can get your favorite cheese fresh each week it is best to buy only what you can eat in a week. Cheese is a living, breathing organism and there are lots of things that influence the taste and quality.

Tips for keeping your cheese fresh:

1.      Tasting your cheese before you buy it is key. Smelling your cheese is actually a key to enjoying the taste.  Trust your instincts. There is good bad smelling cheese and bad bad smelling cheese. If it sends shivers of disgust down your spine, like the thought of eating worms then don’t buy it. Everyone has different taste so only buy cheese that you find pleasing.

2.      However, really bad smelling cheese can taste DIVINE! So take a taste, if you like it then go ahead and get it.

3.      Fresh and soft cheese have a short shelf life and have to be treated different than hard cheese. For soft cheese if it smells like sour milk then it is best to toss it out.

4.      Mold on cheese rind is called Bloom and is a good thing. What you need to look for and avoid is a slimy, pinkish mold this is bad. Some cheeses with bloom will even give off an ammonia scent this is a natural part of the aging process.

5.      Some cheeses are best eaten as soon as you get them home. Only because there smell will proliferate in your refrigerator. Limburger and Sweaty Goat cheese are examples of these cheese. These cheese can last for weeks but the taste will decrease over time.

6.      Aged cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano and Fontina have been aged to the extent that ensures their durability. They have low moisture and there is not much that you need to worry about with these types of chees. In some cases age actually heightens the flavor.  Greenish-blue molds are good and just need to be scraped off.

7.      Blue cheese will only become stronger in taste with age. It is up to you to taste and see if you like the age.  An old blue cheese will never hurt you only your taste buds.

8.      The best way to store cheese is with cheese paper. Yes they make a special paper just for cheese storage. The next best thing is parchment paper with plastic wrap. This way your cheese is protected from the plastic and your refrigerator is protected from your cheese. NEVER wrap your cheese in just plastic alone.

9.      Store your cheese in the warmest part of your refrigerator. Cheese is alive and cold temperatures limit the important bacterial activity of your cheese and will affect the taste.

10.  Bring your cheese to room temperature for the best tasting experience.

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Filed under Artisan Cheese, Chef Lippe, Food, Food blog, Valdeon Azul Cheese