Guide to Cheese Types
Manchego Cheese - Cheese Guide
June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly
Queso Manchego, Spain's most famous and most popular cheese, is a 100% sheep's milk cheese. The second most popular cheese in Spain is Mahon Cheese, a cow's milk variety produced exclusively on the Balearic Islands. Manchego Cheese, also known as Queso Manchego, has been produced for thousands of years in the La Mancha region of Central Spain. Manchego Cheese is made from the milk of sheep, who unlike cows, can thrive in the dry and rocky terrain of the plateaus of the region.
Since 1984, Manchego Cheese has been classified a Denominación de Origen (DO) cheese in Spain. It is also a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese in the European Union. Some of the requirements for these classifications include that Manchego Cheese be produced in the La Mancha region of Spain, be made from the whole milk of Mancha sheep, be cave aged between 30 days and two years and be produced in a specifically sized cylindrical mould with a signature thatched rind.
Manchego Cheese is a hard, buttery cheese with a satiny texture that is often served with Membrillo, a quince preserve that pairs perfectly with this, the most popular cheese from Spain. It has a distinctive creamy flavor of sheep's milk that lingers pleasantly on the palate. Manchego Cheese is white to straw in color with a thin, inedible, artificial rind. In the past, Manchego Cheese was made by pressing the cheese curd in esparto grass baskets, which left a distinctive zigzag pattern on the rind of the cheese. Today, Manchego Cheese is produced in a barrel shaped mould which embosses this same traditional zigzag pattern onto the cheese.
Manchego Cheese is labeled as Manchego Fresco when it is aged for two weeks, Manchego Curado when aged for three to six months, and Manchego Viejo when aged for one year. Manchego Cheese may be labeled as "artisan" if it is produced with raw milk. Serve Manchego with Membrillo, bread, chorizo and olives as part of a tapas selection, or enjoy it in salads. For an extra special dessert, drizzle honey on Manchego for a sweet and salty indulgence.
Our selection includes the following cheeses: