I collected some infor on these cheese a while back but haven't made them yet maybe this will help.
Afuega'l Pitu - Spain
This is a high-fat cheese which may be either fresh or mature and is made from whole pasteurised cow's milk by means of lactic acid coagulation. The paste is white or reddish-orange,
depending on whether paprika is added. However, it is not absolutely necessary that the milk be
pasteurised if the cheeses mature for 60 days.
The resulting product is a cheese shaped like a truncated cone or courgette which weighs between
200 and 600 grams, has a height of between approximately 5 and 12 cm, a diameter of between 8 and 14 cm measured at the base, and a natural rind of variable consistency, depending on its maturation period and whether paprika is added.
Four traditional names are used, although the final characteristics are similar:
— Atroncau blancu: unkneaded, truncated-cone shape, white.
— Atroncau roxu: kneaded, truncated-cone shape, reddish-orange.
— Trapu blancu: kneaded, courgette-shaped, white.
— Trapu roxu: kneaded, courgette-shaped, reddish-orange.
As regards chemical characteristics, the cheese has a minimum dry matter content of 30 %, a minimum fat and protein content in the dry matter of 45 % and 35 % respectively, and a pH of between 4,1 and 5.
As to organoleptic characteristics, the cheese is white in colour, tending to yellow as it matures, or reddish-orange if paprika is added. The taste is mildly acidic, non-salty or slightly salty, creamy and fairly dry, with the red cheeses being stronger and more piquant. It has a mild aroma which becomes more pronounced as it matures; the paste has a more or less soft consistency, losing that quality as the cheese matures.
The defined geographical area of the ‘Afuega'l Pitu’ Protected Designation of Origin covers the municipalities of Morcín, Riosa, Santo Adriano, Grado, Salas, Pravia, Tineo, Belmonte, Cudillero, Candamo, Las Regueras, Muros del Nalón and Soto del Barco. All the cheese-making stages take place in this area, including maturation and production of the milk used as raw material.
The milk used to make the protected cheeses will be obtained, under hygienic conditions from healthy cows of Friesian and Asturiana de los Valles breeds and their cross-breeds, in accordance with applicable legislation. The livestock's diet will follow traditional practices based on dairy herds being pastured throughout the year, and given a supplement of fresh grass, hay and silage obtained on the farms themselves. The livestock is essentially managed on a semi-stabling basis. This involves the animals spending most of the day in pastures, being rounded up at dusk for milking, and remaining stabled until the next morning after following the same procedure. During milking, their ration is supplemented with fresh fodder, hay and silage obtained on the farm itself and (exceptionally, when there are adverse weather conditions) with small quantities of cereal and legume concentrates. Inside the curdling vat, a small amount of liquid rennet is added to the milk, as are lactic ferments if the milk is pasteurised. The temperature inside the vat varies between 22 and 32 °C. Coagulation takes 15 to 20 hours. After the milk has coagulated, the curd is transferred to perforated moulds of food-quality plastic, where the whey drains off over approximately twelve hours. After twelve hours, the partly drained curd is transferred to a smaller mould and the opportunity is taken to salt the surface of the cheese. After twelve hours, it is removed from the mould and placed on perforated trays to facilitate final draining. The cheese is then placed in the maturing room. In the case of cheeses made from kneaded paste, the curd is drained in larger plastic containers, using gauze, and placed in the kneader after around 24 hours. During kneading, salt is added; approximately 1 % of paprika may be added, in which case the variety will be ‘trapu roxu’. The kneaded paste, with or without paprika, is then placed in moulds and/or gauze, where it is left to drain for a further 24 hours. Depending on the maturity of the cheeses, they are left in the maturing rooms for a period ranging from five days (fresh cheeses) to 60 days (mature cheeses). The packaged cheeses, bearing labels on the authorised packaging, are kept in cold stores at between 4 °C and 10 °C until sale.
There are written references to the cheese (referred to as quesu de puñu or queso de Afueg'l Pitu) dating back to at least the 18th century, where it is described as a currency for paying taxes (the practice until into the following century). At the end of the 19th century, Félix Aramburu y Zuloaga describes the cheese as ‘the primitive queso de puñu or de afuega el pitu which is common in almost all the municipalities of Asturias’. More recently, in their work Asturias, Octavio Bellmunt and Fermín Canella again stress how widespread the cheeses are, describing them as ‘those common everywhere and called afuega el pitu or other names’. It is clear that, although these bibliographical references place the cheese in various Asturian municipalities,
they are not specific and there is therefore no record of the defined boundaries at the time
(possibly because a large group of municipalities is involved). In order to confirm that production is restricted to the defined geographical area, it is necessary to turn to more recent documents, popular wisdom and the register of the first businesses making the cheese. The name given to this variety of cheese is fascinating because it is of uncertain origin. Translated literally, ‘Afuega'l Pitu’ means ‘choke the chicken’ — a strange name for which numerous interpretations have been found. These range from the name's being a reference to strangling the neck of the bag
(fardela) in which the cheese is drained, to the occasional difficulties encountered in swallowing the cheese, and even to its having traditionally been used as feed for chickens. A range of cheeses with fairly similar characteristics in terms of shape, maturing times and flavour were known as Afuega'l Pitu in the municipalities along the Rivers Narcea and Nalón, where the cheeses are most commonly found. The distinctive way of making the cheese became increasingly established, giving rise to a single product with four traditional names. The only difference between them is their colour (red or white, depending on whether paprika is added or not) and shape (truncated-cone shape or courgette-shaped, depending on the mould system used).