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The love story of Cabrales Cheese

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The Principality of Asturias, located in northern Spain, covers more than 6500 square miles area. Due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, the climate of Asturias is humid and temperate, which makes the temperatures milder in summer and moderates the harsh winter. The nature of Asturias has been an inseparable part of its history. Its green landscape, the steep mountains, and the turbulent sea have left this ancient Kingdom unaltered in its customs, culture, and legends. No doubt, it is a natural paradise.

In Asturias, nature is found to be the best ally the cheese industry has. From caves provide constant humidity and temperature, to livestock farming, centered on cows, goats and sheep fed by the Asturian farms and mountains, has made it possible to obtain a great variety of cheeses using a single type of milk or mixtures of the different types.


This cheese-producing tradition has been kept and, nowadays, technology makes it possible for the necessary and required quality and health levels to be complied with while following the “instructions” for a handcrafted preparation process, in order for consumers to simply taste and enjoy Asturian cheese with total peace of mind.

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Many of our cheeses have been recognized by means of diverse stamps of quality. Thus, Asturias has several Denominations of Origin and Protected Geographical Indications for: cheeses, ciders, sausages, vegetables, foods of ecological production, etc. These protection systems take charge of looking after the execution of some strict requirements that allow to assure the great quality of these products, and that they suppose a competitive advantage at the time of their commercialization.


Cabrales is one of the most important blue cheeses in the world. Its name comes from the Asturias village where it has been made since time immemorial. It is made with raw cow, sheep and goat milk, curds and salt and Penicillium Rocheforti fungi. All the milk used on its production come exclusively from herds raised on this zone of production, in the Picos de Europa Mountains.


Legend tells us that a hardworker farmer was milking his cattle in an area close to the caves where, today, Cabrales cheese is so carefully cured. It was spring, the sun furrowed the skies and the weather was pleasant: the cold winter was over and the heat whips of the summer were still not expected.

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The shepherd – it is said his name was Gervasio – saw his beautiful girlfriend across the field and felt so much passion for her, that he could not take it anymore. He left – with great care – the milk jars in the caves so nobody could take them and chased the young girl who had taken his heart and smooched with her in the gentle pastures. When finished, the young couple went back home leaving the milk jars behind and decided to share a secret with the family, only taking the cattle with them.


But she became pregnant; Nine months later a little boy was born. Although everything was idyllic between a fortunate couple with a baby at home, misfortune should appear – as always happens in the best stories. The young couple got married – as mandatory those times – and started a family. What happened is that ensued a very harsh winter. Crops failed and three mouths to fill was a very hard burden for a young pastor. In the end, he remembered the milk left forgotten the day he found his beloved in the park.


He did not hesitate to go and take it, and came face to face with a curdled product due to the humidity and wind inside the cave, streaked with blue mold. But it was food, after all. He brought it home and used it to eat, maybe there was nothing else. What was his surprise when he found a incomparable flavor cheese.
From time to time – when he had excess after milking – was leaving the surplus in different jars across the caves. Over time Gervasio perfected the process and became cheesemaker.


He had become father of Cabrales cheese. Maybe even became rich.

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