Spain has been known not only for its culture but for its cheeses as well. What’s great about Spanish cheeses is that there are so many options that you can choose from.
The lush climate of Spain enables it to produce some of the best-tasting cheese. Spanish cheeses vary depending on several factors: the place or region where it was made, the type of milk that was used (goat, cow, sheep or mixed), and how long it was processed. Cheese has been one of the main ingredients in many Spanish foods. Whether it is for dessert, a companion for bread or simply the cheese itself is a meal alone. Spanish food has been well known for their tangy, strong mixture of flavors.
And we can credit that to the wide variety of Spanish cheeses that adds an extra zest to these Spanish foods. Some of the most famous Spanish cheese are Tetilla, made from cow’s milk in Galicia in north-western Spain, Majorero which is made of goat’s milk in Canary Islands and Idiazabal, made from ewe’s milk in the Basque country. But one of the most popular kinds of Spanish cheese is the Manchego cheese. This cheese is made exclusively in Don Quixote’s land, La Mancha. It is a fertile, elevated plateau located in Central Spain. It is famous not only because of Don Quixote but because of their Manchego cheese. It is made out of the whole milk of Manchega sheep, where it got its name. Manchego cheese is processed in dry, cool caves for a period of two months to one year. It is stored in traditional grass baskets, which gives it the beautiful earthly pattern in its skin. It has been under the Denomination of Origin for a very long time, which ensures high-hygienic standards were imposed in areas where this cheese is made. It has a slightly firm and oily feel and is usually colored light brown to light gray with a cylindrical shape. The taste would depend on its maturity, it would taste delicate and soft in the mouth if it is fresh, and the taste would be stronger, depending on its age. Manchego cheese can be eaten with all kinds of bread, with mushrooms and baguettes, and is a very good companion for a bottle of fine wine. It also goes well with olives and dry tomatoes, since its subtly tangy taste blends well with the citrus flavors.
There are so many recipes that you can find online that would further enhance the taste of Manchego cheese. Nowadays, the US has found a new friend for their recipes. Manchego cheese is now marketed all over the US, whether it is a local store or an online store. If you do not have the time to drop by those local stores, you can always order online. There are online sites like la tienda.com, who has the largest selecction of Spanish Cheese in the U.S, www.bizrate.com, who sells fresh Manchego cheese for as low as $15/pound. There are also other stores like www.forevercheese.com, www.amazonmarketplace.com and www.norseland.com. Do not deny yourself, indulge now!