Afuega'l Pitu cheese
One of the oldest and most widespread Asturian cheeses, both in terms of its considerable production and for its wide manufacturing area.
Its name comes from the "bable" Asturian dialect and means 'choking cake', reflecting its unusual texture as it hits the taster's palate and pharynx. It is a cheese made with full cow's milk, curdled with animal rennet at a temperature of between 20 and 25 degrees, for between 10 and 48 hours. Its shape may be cylindrical/conical, made in a mould and eaten fresh, or irregular and in a flattened pear shape, red or white in colour. The red is called Afuega'l Pitu or Rojo del Aramo, with a very strong, spicy flavour (it has paprika in it). The white has a soft, white, light, sticky rind which is usually mouldy. Inside, it is soft, or creamy for mould cheeses. Its flavour is milky, mild and not at all greasy. These cheeses may be salted during manufacturing or on their rinds and are eaten when slightly aired or once matured after several weeks in a fresh, damp, well-ventilated atmosphere. This is when mould appears on the rind. The red is always eaten matured. It is usually tasted as a "tapa" or dessert, generally accompanied by bread.
- Nowadays it can be eaten at any time of year.
- The area of manufacture lies in the western central part of Asturias, in Belmonte, Cudillero, Pravia, Grado and Yermes, among others.
- Afuega'l Pitu cheese, eaten on its own or with bread, is excellent with Asturian cider.
- Rich in lipids and calcium.