Gamonedo PDO

A ripe, high-fat cheese, with a natural rind, made from cows’ milk (from the Friesian, Asturiana de los Valles, Alpine Brown breeds and crossbreeds of them), ewes’ milk (from the Latxa, Carranzana and Milschalfe breeds and crossbreeds of them) and goats’ milk (from the Alpine-Pyrenean, Picos de Europa, Murciano-Granadina and Saanen breeds and crossbreeds of them) or from mixtures of two of these three types of milk. The cheeses are lightly smoked and have a light bloom of greenish-blue penicillium close to the edges.

Tasting notes

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.

Other notes

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.

Production / Processing method

The milk comes from certified farms. It is first cooled, then taken to the dairy where it undergoes lactic-acid coagulation, with rennet or starters in the exact dose to ensure the process is complete 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 cheeses are salted with sodium chloride after 24 and 48 hours respectively.

After turning out, the cheeses are 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 cheeses are 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.

Geography / Relief and climate

The geographical area for producing the milk and the cheese is mostly in an area called Cornión, in the western part of the Picos de Europa mountains, where the slopes between the high and low ground are steep. In the valleys, the meadows have gentle relief and farms are mostly close to small villages.

The fields provide sufficient grass for the winter so the cattle do not need to be stabled at all times. The high lands are very steep, having in general the typical characteristics of karst topography, with dolines, sinkholes, caves, limestone pavements and large cracks. In between are meadows with very nutritional pastures, where the cattle remain from spring to the early snows in the fall.

Cheese-making is the direct consequence of traditional transhumance between the valley and the mountain tops. The surplus milk in the spring and summer used to be transformed into cheese and butter to prevent it from going to waste. The milk was curdled in the small huts used by the shepherds and the cheeses were then cured in the many limestone caves, thus providing a year-round living for the shepherds.

Regulatory Council

Consejo Regulador de la DOP Gamonedo
Plaza de Camila Beceña, Bajo
33550 Cangas de Onís
Tel: (+34) 985 947 554


- Spanish Ministry of Agriculture

- Regulatory Council, Gamonedo PDO

Cangas de Onís (Asturias)

Cangas de Onís (Asturias)