Spanish cheeses don’t often cross my threshold, for whatever reason, so I was glad to get my hands on a beautiful truncated cone of Rey Silo, a DOP-protected cheese from the Asturias region of Spain. Culture Magazine has a great description of its history and name, so I’ll let you delve into that material on their website.
Unwrapping this raw cow’s milk cheese was like opening a map to another world. The paprika-dusted rind has developed a full cover of gorgeous brainy wrinkles, characteristic of geotrichum candidum-adorned rinds. Additional fluffy patches of mold grew on top of the folds, giving the impression of miniature snow-topped mountain ranges along the exterior. Cutting the cheese open, I saw a deep yellow ring around the outer edge where the paste had smoothed out from aging. The middle of the cheese was butter yellow, and still flaky. Small eyes dotted the paste throughout the flaky part.
M. Cheesemonger and I each put a half to our noses to inhale the dry, earthy aroma. Working on smell alone, I would say that’s the sort of flavor we could expect as well. Wrong! The cheese had a surprisingly buttery, creamy quality infused with flowers and the slightest bit of earth and peppery tang at the finish. There was a similar sort of duality in the texture as well. The cheese was hard, but creamily broke done once in the mouth.
All around—win! I think we’ll be seeing this at the dinner (and breakfast and lunch) table again in the future.