Probably the oldest of Spanish cheeses and introduced by the Romans. Traditionally shaped in mounds made from Esparto grass, hence the distinct impressed pattern on the rind, and then washed in either brine or paraffin to set the rind. Manchego cheese is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain, which is also home to Don Quixote. It is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk. It is one of the popular cheeses from Spain and comes under the PDO (DOP) guidelines.
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Ingredients: Milk (Cow, Goat, Buffalo or Ewe’s Milk), Salt, Starter Culture, Rennet.
For allergens, please see ingredients.
Manchego is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain, which was also home to Don Quixote, the 17th century literary character who decided to become a Knight Errant in the book written by Miguel de Cervantes.
Made with sheep’s milk, it is one of the most popular cheeses from Spain and gained PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) in 1984.
The traditional use of Esparto grass moulds would leave a distinctive, characteristic zigzag pattern on the cheeses. This pattern is still formed today when the cheese is made and it can only made using Manchego sheep’s milk. The Corcuera Family were the first in Castilla La Mancha to make and then commercialise Manchego Cheese. The family now produce the cheese in the province of Toledo to the exact same standards and time honoured traditions.
Manchego is made from unpasteurised milk and is matured for 60 days and, sometimes, for up to 2 years. A young Manchego is called fresco (very young) right up to Viejo (2 years) The rind is inedible having being rubbed during the maturing process with either olive oil or a paraffin wax to retain the moisture in each cheese.
Each Manchego has a wonderful rich and nutty taste which deepens as the cheese matures and finishes on the tongue with an almost salty tang. It is the perfect addition to the cheese board accompanied by a a drizzle of honey and some quince jelly or Membrillo.