Spain's most famous cheese enjoys protected designation of origin status (D.O. Queso Manchego) and is produced in the region of La Mancha. It is a hard cheese made from sheep's milk, and its flavour varies greatly depending on the age profile. The first ripening process takes just two months. This variety of Manchego is consumed as a fresh cheese, known as "Fresco". At this stage, the flavour is slightly acidic, and the paste is soft and pale. After 3-6 months, the cheese is referred to as "Curado" (aged). Finally, after a minimum ripening period of 12 months, the cheese is categorized as "Viejo" (old). By this stage, the paste is darker and firmer, and the flavour has developed to reveal a sharp and slightly nutty aroma with an intense spiciness.
Manchego tastes delicious on its own. However, it also makes a great dessert cheese served with honey and fruit. This cheese can also be eaten as tapas or grated on top of gratins.
Origin: Spain (La Mancha)Shop for Manchego
This full-fat semi-hard cheese takes at least six months to mature. The cheese displays a rich, slightly spicy flavour and an intense aroma. The paste is semi-hard and slightly crumbly.
Fine Food Manchego Gran Riserva
This full-fat hard cheese takes at least nine months to mature. It has an aromatic flavour and a characteristic sheep's milk aroma with a slightly nutty note. The texture is hard and the cheese paste contains isolated air pockets.This Manchego was crowned the 2012 World Cheese Champion. Although the rind can be eaten, it is not recommended as it is dipped in olive oil.
Both varieties of Manchego mentioned above contain eggs.
The aromatic, spicy flavour of Manchego works well with a selection of the following cheeses:
Cheese 1: Morbier
Cheese 2: Tête de Moine
Cheese 3: Brillat Savarin Affiné
Cheese 4: Brie Vallière
Wine: We recommend aged red wines such as Château d'Aiguilhe Côtes de Castillon AOC from Bordeaux.
Bread: St. Gallen kosher semi-white bread
Enclosure: Pomegranate, apple, pear, grapes, almonds, pistachios, dried fruit