This dense cow’s milk cheese from Asturias is one of the oldest cheeses in Spain. Asturias is region blessed with soft and persistent rains, allowing for lush pastures and prairies, where local breeds of cows, Frisona and Asturiana de los Valles, can happily graze on nutritious grasses almost year long, developing a rich and fragrant milk. The region where it is produced is protected by the DOP designation, meaning the cheese can only be produced in that specific region.
Afuega’l Pitu is made from the milk of cows milked in the cooler evenings, left to curd, salted and then pressed into its distinct “troncado” shape – like a pyramid with the top cut off. The “blanco” (white) version – there is also a red version made with paprika - is generally a young cheese, aged to more than a few weeks, with a paste that is rich and incredibly dense, enveloping to the palate and lingering on the tongue. The cheese loses most of its moisture while it’s aged; resulting in a white pasty cheese that is soft, creamy at times, and easy to spread. You’ll find a lovely mild flavor that’s a bit lactic and salty. With age, Afuegal develops a more pronounced flavor, and a harder texture that becomes crumbly and dry.
Serve Afuega'l with sweet fruits like figs or ripe pears, meat almonds or Brazilian nuts, dried fruits of any kinds, and a drizzle of aromatic Spanish honey.