Production of Valdeon, in northern Spain, has been taking place for many centuries. Valdeon is one of a number of similar type cheeses from the valley of Valdeon, in the northwestern section of the province of Leon, on the edge of the Picos de Europa mountains.
Cave aged for a minumum of two months and sometimes as much as four, it is made to virtually the same recipe as Cabrales, but with a few key differences. The maturing caves in this area are less humid than those in the Cabrales region, which translates as less mold development in the cheeses. Also, the most traditional Valdeon is still produced wrapped in "plageru" (sycamore) leaves, which allow certain bacteria to penetrate the cheese and add complexity. Traditional Valdeon can also be made with small amounts of goat's milk.
Valdeon is a fairly assertive blue cheese, without being harsh. The paste is semi firm and it delivers a complex array of flavors, with an underlying sweet, almost caramel-like note. This complexity is multiplied by the inclusion of goat's milk, which has gained popularity in recent years.
The paste is cream-colored ivory, with punctuated holes and striations of greyish green mold.
Valdeon pairs well with Gruner Veltliner, Reisling, or a sweeter dessert wine such as Sauternes or Muscat.