Afuega'l Pitu

Photo of Afuega'l Pitu Cheese
Amasuela - Luis Lafuente Agudín / CC BY-SA 4.0
Important Facts
Country of Origin Spain
Specific Origin Asturias
Certification PDO (2004)
Milk Type Cow's milk
Milk Treatment Lactic coagulation, variable ripening from fresh to mid-ripened
Rind White soft and rough in briefly ripened cheeses; moist, yellowish brown with moldy blue or white areas in ripened cheeses
Texture Different varieties based on form, shape, and aging
Flavor Lactic, slightly sour, salted in fresh or hardly ripened cheeses; strong and spicy as ripening progresses
Forms de trapu or "de trapo" (piriform, ~1 pound), "atroncau" or "atroncado" (inverted flowerpot shape, ~half a pound), "roxu" or "rojo" (with paprika), "blancu" or "blanco" (plain)
Age Fresh to mid-ripened
Rennet Type Very small amounts of calf rennet

About Afuega'l Pitu Cheese

Afuega'l Pitu is a traditional soft cheese from Asturias, northern Spain. Known as one of the oldest Spanish cheeses, its name translates to "choking cake" in Asturian. This refers to its unique texture that sticks to the palate. The cheese received PDO status in 2004. It is made from whole cow's milk through lactic coagulation. The cheese varies from fresh to mid-ripened in its degree of aging.

The cheese comes in different varieties, each defined by its shape, added ingredients, and aging period. The "de trapu" or "de trapo" variety has a piriform shape, created by the cloth used for whey draining and molding, and weighs about 1 pound. The "atroncau" or "atroncado" variety, resembling an inverted flowerpot, weighs about half a pound. Adding paprika during the cheesemaking process results in the "roxu" or "rojo" (red) cheese, contrasting with the plain "blancu" or "blanco" (white) variety. Aging further classifies the cheese into cured, semi-cured, or soft.

Ripened cheeses have a white, soft, and rough rind that becomes moist and yellowish-brown with age, featuring moldy areas. The flavor evolves from lactic, slightly sour, and salted in younger cheeses to strong and spicy in older ones.

Afuega'l Pitu is among four Asturian cheeses with PDO recognition. The others are Cabrales, Gamonedo, and Casín. Its production peaks in spring and winter when the milk's fat content is higher. The cheese-making process involves coagulating the milk with calf rennet, cutting the curds, and draining in molds or sacks. The "roxu" variety includes Spanish paprika. The cheese matures on wooden planks, available in white (blanco) or red (rojo), depending on the use of paprika.

Made from unpasteurized cow's milk, Afuega'l Pitu is celebrated for its smooth texture and spicy, strong flavor. It remains a traditional and beloved Asturian cheese.

Afuega'l Pitu Cheeses on AnyCheese

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