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What is it?

Made from a blend of goat’s, sheep’s, and cow’s milk, Cabrales (pronounced kah-BRAH-lays) is a piquant, acidic, and creamy Spanish blue cheese. Cabrales is crumbly and fragile, drier than Roquefort and less salty. It’s quite strong, with a higher proportion of blue veining (which may be closer to purple in color) than other cheeses.

Kitchen math:

8 oz. = about 2 cups crumbled

Don’t have it?

Substitute Maytag, Roquefort, Gorgonzola or any other crumbly blue cheese.

How to choose:

A good Cabrales is completely shot through with a deep veining of mold. The strong-smelling rind is sticky and yellow; the interior is compact, with lots of holes and blue veins. The cheese should look fresh with intense, clear purplish-blue veins. Avoid Cabrales if the interior is turning gray.

How to prep:

Remove and discard any leaf wrapping if necessary. Almost all blue cheeses are quite high in fat, so they act in cooking more like a ripened, creamy butter than a cheese. For this reason, if you’re going to involve heat, it’s best not to truly cook blue cheeses but rather to gently melt them.

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