By: Cheese Secrets — Posted on May 30, 2012

Manchego – Spanish Tradition to Spice up your Life

Manchego is a cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep in the La Mancha provinces of Spain, the origin of Don Quixote Conquistador. It is firm and compact in consistency with unevenly small air pockets. It has a smooth well developed buttery taste with a slight spicy pungent tartness to it with an after taste that is reminiscent of sheep’s milk. It often has a coloring of white and may vary to an ivory-yellow hue. The rind is inedible and gets its shape from the barrel-shaped molds, the rind is often a yellow to brownish-beige.  We stock the 6-month old version, but sometimes are lucky enough to have the 9 or 12 month cheese in the shop.

Manchego is a cheese of Spanish tradition. Ancestrial iterations of the cheese were made by pressing the curd of the sheep into the plaited esparto grass baskets. Doing so would leave a zig-zag pattern on the rind which would come to be known as pleita. Tradition carries on as the same affect is achieved with a relief pattern carved into the mold which simulates the woven esparto grass baskets used in the days of old. Authentic Manchego is labelled with a serial number and an image of Don Quixote de La Mancha.

This Spanish Treasure pairs well with Red wine or a wine from the same region of La Mancha, the tantilizing tartness of the grapes is wonderful with the spicy tart scent of the cheese.

It’s not only a great pairing with wine, this cheese can be used to spice up any modern meal, grate on salads, use on grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis. It serves well with sweet and aromatic fruits. It’s a traditional additive that can spice up any modern homemade meal and is available now at Cheese Secrets located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Post Categories: Cheese