The homemade wisdom of Taramundi, accustomed to self-consumption for centuries, has been able to rescue the manual of elaboration of its cheeses to remove them from the minority consumption and sell them to the world. The cheeses of this council are one of those products that have been able to ripen without haste, slowly, and move from the table of the peasant kitchen to the restaurant plates and the exhibitors of the shops without losing a bit of its artisan flavor.
The Dairy Products Cooperative Society of Taramundi brings out some 80 cheeses a day. None exceeds the 500 grams of weight, just the right size so that the most popular consumption does not abuse or get bored. The good flavor comes with just snacks, the artisan is always scarce and is as protected as the landscape that sees it born. Protected by beautiful and tasty. The cheese inventory of this center is limited to three types: the walnut and hazelnut, the matured goat and cow (at 50% of both milk) and the pure goat. The first one is perhaps the most demanded. Mainly for a solid reason: it is the only one in Spain that contains dried fruit. Its drying is fast, from 6 to 8 days, and the taste certainly inimitable. The other two cheeses have to overcome a maturation of two months and their greater production and consumption extends from early spring to the end of summer. All three have the same sustenance and the same milky essence, the same know-how and an unmistakable, long and buttery taste.
Cheese making In all its phases, it seems simple and hardly distinguishable from others: firstly, milk from the area, produced on the farms of the members themselves and of controlled quality, is used in its entirety; Then it is pausified, lactic ferments are added, it is acidified: add the rennet and let coagulate, cut the curd, stir and heat until it is at its point. The nuance is not in the process itself, but in knowing how to reach that point with its own milk. A final state that depends on too many things. Especially of the earth and the climate that sees it being born, and that in this sense is so unique that it has no twins. Before packaging it is already observed that the crust is natural and that the cheese has a very special flavor, for its buttery texture, its slightly acid taste and the presence of toasted flavors. A fruit that is packaged in molds, is pressed and only the next day the point of salt is sought. As we can see, there are several points. A point and apart, in short, that makes them very salable cheeses, about way in the Principality. Meanwhile awaits his just fame in the peninsula.
Allow us a final suggestion for all those who dare to try it: use it also to melt and gratinate, it will surprise you pleasantly. Consume it only with cider, white wines or Ribeiros. The variety of nuts should be tasted as a dessert, accompanied by a sweet and dense wine. Cutting it for salads is another very valid option.
Three versatile cheeses, as you can see, they are good in sauces, dry sticks, and as you wish at any given time. Three brothers of the same mother: the nature and culture of Taramundi.
Today, more than 40 varieties of cheese are made, some of the best known and most popular ones we present to you, if you want to discover more about the cheeses of Asturias.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com