The production area is in Asturias, in northern Spain, in the districts of Cangas de Onís and Onís.
The milk comes from certified farms. It is first cooled, and then taken to the dairy where it undergoes lactic-acid coagulation, with rennet or starters in the exact dose to ensure the process is completed in a minimum of one hour. During this process, the milk is kept at a temperature of 24-30ºC / 75-86ºF.
The curds are then cut gently to 5-15 mm / ¼ -5/8 in. The whey is then drained off for about one and a half hours.The resulting curds are packed into cylindrical, food-grade molds and pressed lightly to remove any remaining whey. The top and bottom of the cheese is salted with sodium chloride after 24 and 48 hours respectively.
After turning out, the cheese is smoked for 15-30 days. Ripening takes place in limestone caves, cellars or ripening chambers at temperatures of 8-12ºC / 46-53ºF with moisture at 85-95%. This process, during which the cheese is turned and cleaned as necessary to ensure proper ripening, lasts for at least two months counting from coagulation and gives the cheese its special characteristics.
The main, but mild flavor is of smoke, with a slight pungency. In the mouth it becomes buttery, with a lingering aftertaste of hazelnuts.
The aroma is a little smoky, but clear and penetrating, becoming more intense in riper cheeses. The color of the paste is white or yellowish-white, with a light bloom of greenish-blue penicillium close to the edges. The outside color is unusual. Smoking gives the cheese a reddish-brown color that then takes on red, green and blue tinges from the molds that form during ripening in caves or cellars.
The interior appearance is loose, with holes. The paste has a hard or semi-hard consistency. It is firm but, when cut, crumbles. Eyes are small and unevenly distributed.
Cylindrical cheese, flat on top and bottom. Height 6-15 cm / 2½ -6 in, diameter 10-30 cm / 4-12 in, weight 0.5-7 kg / 1-15 lb 7 oz. The natural rind is thin, taking on a reddish-brown color during smoking, with red, green and blue tinges.
The chemical characteristics are as follows:
– Fat: minimum 45% of dry matter
– Protein: Minimum 25 % of dry matter
– Moisture: 30% of dry matter
– pH: 5.5-6.5
– Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
– Regulatory Council, Gamonedo PDO
Consejo Regulador de la DOP Gamonedo
Plaza de Camila Beceña, Bajo
33550 Cangas de Onís
Tel: (+34) 985 947 554
Fax: (+34) 985 947 554