Perhaps Spain's most famous cheese, Manchego is a D.O. (Denominación de Origen) protected cheese, meaning the traditional recipe must use 100% Manchega sheep milk. The breed has proven sturdy enough over the centuries to traverse the rocky, arid central plateau region of La Mancha where cows just can't hang.
Made using fresh, pasteurised sheep's milk, Manchego develops a rich nuttiness and pleasant gaminess (think toasted almonds and grilled lamb chops) after over a year of ageing. Sheep's milk, like their fleece contains lanolin, an oily substance great for the skin. This translates into a slightly waxy character to the cheese to go along with its richly savoury taste. Firm enough to grate for any culinary application, highlight its sharp, caramelly flavour anywhere you would use Parmigiano. Raise a glass of herbaceous Rioja alongside fruity membrillo for tapas perfección.
- Country: Spain
- Region: La Mancha
- Milk Type: Sheep
- Pasteurization: Pasteurised
- Rennet Type: Animal
- Age: 11 months
- Serving: Approximately 200g wedge - hand cut