The Regulatory Council of the PDO Afuega’l Pitu is the certifying control structure. Within the responsibilities that fall on this body is the approval of the use of a unique logo for all operators, which will appear on the numbered counter label, as well as verifying that the different requirements stipulated in the Specification of the PDO ‘Afuega’l Pitu’ are met.
The geographical area defined by the constitution of the Protected Designation of Origin “Afuega’l Pitu”, is the natural scenario that is articulated around two rivers, Nalón and Narcea, along with Sierra del Aramo whose slope falls on two small rivers, Morcín and Riosa.
The geographical area defined by the constitution of the Municipalities that make up this geographical area are: Morcín, Riosa, Santo Adriano, Grado, Salas, Pravia, Tineo, Belmonte, Cudillero, Candamo, Las Regueras, Muros del Nalón and Soto del Barco.
Production of milk destined to make the cheese, as well as all the stages of elaboration, including ripening, take place in this geographical area.
It is a fatty cheese that can be fresh or ripened, made with pasteurized whole cow’s milk, soft paste obtained by lactic coagulation, white or reddish orange if pimentón is added.
In cheeses that have a ripening period of at least 60 days, and pasteurization of milk will not be an essential requirement.
Milk used to make protected cheeses will be obtained from healthy cows of the ‘Frisona’ and ‘Asturiana de los Valles’ breed and their crosses. It is expressly forbidden to use products that may interfere with the characteristics of milk destined for the production of PDO «Afuega’l Pitu» cheese.
- Shape: ‘Atroncau’ (the shape of the molds is that of a truncated cone) or Zucchini shape o ‘Trapu’ (the mold used is a gauze that is tied at the top).
- Height: Between 5 and 12 cm. approximately.
- Weight: from 200 to 600 grams.
- Diameter: Between 8 and 14 cm. (measured at the base).
- Natural crust, variable consistency depending on the ripening degree and the addition of pimentón.
- Fat: Minimum 45% on dry extract
- Protein: Minimum 35% on dry extract
- Dry matter: Minimum 30%
- pH: Between 4.1 and 5
Depending on the shape of the molds, whether the curd is kneaded or not and that paprika is added or not, the following traditional mentions are known:
- «Atroncau Blancu». The molding of the curd, without kneading, is carried out in molds with a conical shape. Its color is white.
- «Atroncau Roxu». Twenty-four hours after being whey drained in containers by self-pressing, the kneading treatment can be carried out with the uniform addition of salt and paprika. Its color is red-orange.
- «Trapu Blancu». This form of cheese is due to the use of gauze in which whey is drained, to end up giving it a typical zucchini shape, by tying the edges of the gauze. After twenty-four hours, the products will be transferred to the ripening chambers, being its white color.
- “Trapu Roxu”. Dough that has to pass to the molds will be the one to which paprika has been added and gauze is used. After been drained, they are passed to the ripening chambers. Their color is red-orange.
Maturation takes place in ripening chambers, placing them on trays and turning them conveniently, until the optimum ripeness is achieved.
Depending on the maturation degree, going from fresh cheese to ripening, the permanence in chambers will range between five and sixty days.