Valdeon Blue Cheese – Spain
I found Valdeon cheese at the Alex Farms Cheese Stand in the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Canada.
Valdeon is made from a mixture of pasteurized cow’s milk (80%) and goat’s milk (20%). It comes from the small municipality of Posada de Valdeón in the Northern Province of Leon in Spain.
The milk from the animals in this region is of a very high quality due to the fertile green pastures found in the valley. High quality milk makes high quality cheese. Penicillium roqueforti is the mold responsible for the dominant flavor of this cheese.
One of the unique features of Valdeon is that it is wrapped in Sycamore leaves while it ages for 45 to 60 days. The leaves help the cheese maintain moisture as well as imparting a special earthy characteristic.
I assumed that I should not eat the leaves, so I removed them. Even with the leaves removed Valdeon is still a good looking cheese.
Valdeón was named the best blue cheese in a 2003 national competition in Spain.
What does Valdeon Cheese taste like? It is rich and creamy, a tad spicy and fairly salty. It has a taste that sticks around on the palette. The salty start dissolves into a rich earthy taste that sticks around for a long finish. This is a complex and powerful cheese. The sweet of the milk spars with the sting of the blue mold. This is a cheese you can roll around in your mouth for a while because it stays interesting. There is a lot going on.
Not only does it taste good but this cheese is attractive … very attractive. I might even go so far as to say it’s beautiful and artsy. Yeah that’s it … cheese art.
This cheese should pair well with wines made from the Gamay grape, such as Beaujolais, as well as Muscats. It would also marry well with a Port wine.