Casin cheese . Casín cheese is a type of cheese that is made by hand in the Concejo de Caso , Sobrescobio and Piloña in the Principality of Asturias, Spain . It is one of the oldest documented in Asturias, since there are documents from the 14th century that mention it. Complex and long elaboration, it is made from raw cow’s milk . This cheese has the Protected Designation of Origin Casín Cheese.
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- 1 Geographical area
- 2 Elaboration
- 3 Features
- 4 Curiosities
- 5 Sources
The municipalities that make up the Protected Designation of Origin “Queso Casín” PDO are: Caso , Sobrescobio and Piloña . It is an area of the Asturian central eastern mountain , a characteristic landscape of narrow valleys separated by wide rocky ridges. The slopes of the pending defendant predominate. The high average altitudes come together in a depressed and flat central area, part of the pre-coastal depression that crosses in the East-West direction and serves as a channel for the Piloña that together with the Alto Nalón constitute the two most important rivers in the territory. It is an oceanic climate territoryexcept for the highest mountain ranges, temperate with mild but persistent rains throughout the year, and moderate thermal oscillation. Stagnation mists abound , dramatically decreasing days of heatstroke . The vegetal landscape is determined by the presence of abundant mowing meadows and pastures , in addition to the significant extension of the forests and areas of scrub and rocky outcrop on the steepest slopes. The most interesting plant species that cover the meadows and grasses belong to the grass and legume families .
To make this cheese, Asturian cow milk from the mountain or Casina was originally used , but since the cows of this breed are scarce, others are currently used. The PDO application indicates that it must be from healthy cows of the Asturiana de la Montaña or Casina, Asturiana de los Valles, Friesian and their crossbreeds. It is heated to an approximate temperature of 35º C. As rennet, freshly calved cow’s milk is used, preserved for eight days in the butiellu, pork stomachobtained in the slaughter. This rennet is added to the milk, stirred and left to rest until the curd begins to form. Once you have the curd, drain it between three and six days in a zube, a white cloth, to release the whey. Once all the whey has been lost, it is kneaded and salted giving it the shape of a gorollo, which are compact pieces that are left to rest in a cool place for a few days. The longer the cheese is left to rest, the spicier. This operation is repeated several times at one-week intervals, using a utensil called a rabilar machine and adding pieces of highly cured cheese to the dough, in case you want to get a strong cheese with flavor. The number of times this process is repeated also influences the flavor of the cheese, the spicier and stronger the more repetitions. The cheese is matured in well-ventilated premises, with a temperature around eight degrees Celsius and aambient humidity is around 80%, for about two months. It is very important to perform a daily turning that allows the dough to breathe and mature in a homogeneous and balanced way. Tradition obliges to give the cheese its final shape by hand, without a mold, marking it on the upper face with a wooden stamp called a frame, with which each artisan prints their personal stamp, engraving floral, geometric, symbols or names on one side from the maker.
It is a cheese with a high fat content, minimum 45% .1 It has an irregular cylindrical-discoidal shape, weighing between 250 and 1,000 grams . The aroma is strong and powerful. It has a strong and spicy taste, although it depends on the manufacturing process, especially on the times it is kneaded in the rabilar machine. The highly worked has a pungent, spicy, strong flavor, difficult for uninitiated palates and has the penetrating and rustic aroma of butter seasoned by time. The least worked has the same flavors, although more reduced in intensity. In any case, strong, broad, persistent, pungent and slightly bitter flavor at the end of the mouth, strong aftertaste. It has a creamy yellow color, with whitish shades and without bark.
In the Arnicio pass, the Casín Cheese Festival was held every year on the last weekend of August. This contest now happened to be held almost on the same dates in the capital of the council (El Campu). Currently it is going for the second edition (2018), although the old event in La Collada already had 25 editions. Referring to this cheese there is a curious legend that tells that after the Battle of Covadonga between the Christians and the Moors, the casinos gave Don Pelayo a cheese so large that in order to transport it, they had to use a car from the country and that both The king was pleased with this cheese that gave nobility to all the inhabitants of the council.