WHAT IS VALDEON?
A milder blue then Cabrales, Valdeon is one of Spains big three blue cheeses (the third being Picon). Like the other two, Valdeon is made from a mix of milks (cow and goat). It is traditionally wrapped in chestnut, oak or sycamore leaves during affinage. This is still not a blue for the faint of heart and “spicy” is a common description of this queso. Valdeon is a pasteurized cheese that is only cave aged for several months before being sold.
WHERE IS VALDEON MADE?
Léon in northeast Spain. The city itself was founded in 1 B.C. by the Romans and bears the same name as the province. It is overflowing with churches, cathedrals, middle age art and caves which are ideal for aging blue cheese.
A CITY STILL MOURNS ITS’ GARGAGE TRUCK DEATHS
Like any place with a lot of history, Léon has its quirks. For almost 100 years now an annual procession remembering “The Burial of Genarín” is held. He was the city’s first death by garbage truck. Furthermore being an alcoholic, his remembrance involves a lot of drinking and furtive glances towards trash cans.
WHAT CAN I PAIR WITH VALDEON?
Reislings or sweet wines, ports and sherries will work for wine pairings. For cheese flights avoid other blues or strong cheeses in general. Instead you’ll need something to balance out your plate. Manchego, Garrotxa or Idiazabal cheeses can help with a Spanish cheese flight. For the more internationally inclined, mix it up with some Provolone Piccante and Brie de Meaux.