Manchego can only be made in the La Mancha region of Spain made famous by Don Quioxte and his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza. They nibbled on the cheese when not tilting at windmills in Cervantes’ famous story. Dry, arid and with temperatures up to 40°C during the summer, the harsh landscape is home to the hardy Manchega sheep breed, which graze the wild grasses and shrubs of the dehesa (wild meadows) and provide rich milk for cheese.
The curds for Manchego are scalded up to 40°C and the cheese is pressed, then dry-salted or brined. The zig-zag pattern on the rind was originally formed when the curd was placed in esparto baskets made from plaited grass to drain, but is now formed from an imprint on the moulds. The rinds may be sealed with a coating or rubbed with olive oil.
Eating Manchego at Christmas
For your Christmas day aperitif enjoy a glass of chilled sherry with a perfect triangle of mature Manchego. Ideal to nibble whilst basting the Turkey.
This Cheese is part of the Master of Cheese Level One associate certificate