Heavenly soft, La Peral blue cheese.
In the tiny village of San Jorge de La Peral just miles from the blue waters of the Cantabrian sea, with a population of just over 200 people, hides the not-so-secret delicious LaPeral blue cheese. Made by Quesos La Peral, the straw-color flesh streaked with the blue of its mold has a nutty delicate flavor.
La Peral Cheese has a crumbly texture that turns unctuous on the palate. This Spanish blue cheese is very aromatic at room temperature, with an intense but clean bouquet. Its flavor is smooth, at times slightly spicy, and a little salty. Definitely one of my favorite blues.
La Peral Blue Cheese History
La Peral Cheese factory is a 100-year-old family business founded in 1923 by Antonio León Álvarez.
At the time, the cheese factory was called “Quesería Illas”, which was later changed to “Quesos La Peral” Since then, Five generations have worked in La Peral. Today the fifth, fourth, and third generations work hand in hand to keep the quality and tradition of La Peral cheese while modernizing and standardizing the process of its manufacture.
The three La Peral cheeses
Estrella La Peral Blue cheese
Estrella La Peral Blue Cheese is manufactured of pasteurized cow’s milk from the Valdés area. And was the first cheese manufactured by Antonio León Álvarez when he founded the cheese factory in 1923. It has been one of Spain’s most appreciated blue cheeses ever since.
Estrella La Peral awards:
- “Silver Award”: International Cheese Awards 2010
- Trophy: “Urogallo Especial” del Centro Asturiano de Madrid 2010
- Medal: VI Feria de Muestras Asturiana y II Exposición Agro-Pecuaria Oficial e Internacional 1929
- Prize: Concurso Nacional de Ganados, Industrias derivadas y Maquinaria Agrícola 1926
Peralzola Blue Cheese
Peralzola blue cheese is made entirely with the best milk from sheeps raised in Asturias. It is the only blue cheese made from 100% sheep’s milk. Its appearance is reminiscent of La Peral cheese made from cow’s milk with ivory white colors combined with blue veins as a result of its natural in the cellar. Less known than the traditional La Peral cheese, Peralzola cheese is rich in flavors and aromas obtained from its ripening in the cellar, which makes it a very balanced cheese.
Peralzola blue cheese awards:
- “Super Gold Award”International Cheese Awards 2011
- Cincho de Plata VIII Concurso Nacional y II Internacional de Queso 2010
- Ganador del Certament Mejores Quesos Españoles 2011
- Primer premio “Gourmet Quesos” Los mejores quesos de España 2018
Peñoceo Blue Cheese
Peñoceo blue cheese is the third and latest addition to La Peral Cheese family. It is a special cheese, made with the best goat’s milk from the Tineo area (Tineu), carefully elaborated to achieve a product of exceptional quality.
The texture of Peñoceo blue cheese is buttery, and has all the character that a blue cheese should have, but with the flavor and quality that characterizes Quesos La Peral. The color of this cheese is not as yellow as the cows’ cheese and its taste is already stronger even when it´s halfway through its aging process.
This cheese won the Bronze “Gourmet Quesos” Los mejores quesos de España 2017 ( Best Spanish cheeses award) the same year it came to existence.
How is La Peral Blue cheese prepared?
- High-quality milk, be it from cows, sheep, or goats, is pasteurized.
- Lactic ferments, penicillium, and lastly the rennet are added and distributed evenly in the milk.
- After an hour, the mix coagulates. It is cut mechanically into about 1cm pieces and lightly stirred.
- The resulting curds are gently distributed into individual cheese molds.
- The curds in the cheese molds are left without any additional pressure for 24 hours to set.
- The next day, cheeses are taken out, manually rubbed in salt, and pierced with skewers to allow oxygen inside the cheese and help the growth of Penicillium.
- The cheese wheels are placed in racks in a controlled environment, flipping them every couple of days so that they mature evenly.
- When they are mature, 60 to 75 days after receiving the milk, they are wrapped in aluminum foil and ready to be enjoyed.
- You can watch a video of its
- Side by side with Menchego chees and Jabugo ham, La Peral cheese with apple was among the appetizers on the menu of the royal wedding of Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz. Although I found references to the menu, I could not confirm if this is entirely true. But I could easily imagine this elegant cheese at a royal banquet.
- Quesos La Peral Facebook page.
- Quesos La Peral.
- Noemí Moderniza el queso de su tatarabuelo, Eduardo Lagar, 18·11·22, La Neuva España. https://www.lne.es/asturianos/illas/2022/11/18/noemi-moderniza-queso-tatarabuelo-78725397.html
- La Peral video presentation in Spanish