For the Love of Manchego

MANCHEGO

Manchego Cheese such as Grandvewe’s Primavera is an ancient and

delicious Spanish cheese which has been made since well before the

birth of Christ. The recipe is very similar to the French cheese

style “Tomme” but has become a definitve Spanish style.

Manchego originated in the district of La Mancha ( and hence

Grandvewe’s name of its Manchego style).  This is the same region

where Don Quixote tilted at windmills and is really the only region

that can boast true Manchego. The cheese is overseen by a board

that certifies that true Manchego is made in the region with milk

from the Manchega sheep and aged for more than 60 days.  Only then

can the manufacturers place the D.O. sticker on it certifying it as

authentic Manchego.  Whilst the certification process has only been

in place since the 1980’s, there is sufficient mention of it in

Spanish history to date the cheese style back to the prior to the

birth of Christ.

Manchego comes in three varieties, depending on how long it’s been

aged

A Manchego Fresco is a white, fresh variety of the cheese aged for

only a couple of weeks. This is hard to get outside Spain and is

not technically a real Manchego, but still has a great smooth, rich

flavour. You’ll just have to make a trip over there to eat it!

–              Most common is the Manchego Curado which gets between three and

six months of aging. It’s semi-solid and a yellowish-white, with a

mild, nutty taste and a smooth, creamy texture. It’s an excellent

melting cheese and very complementary to all kinds of flavours.

 

–              Manchego Viejo. This is aged for up to a year and so is more

expensive. The colour is a rich yellow and the cheese is much more

solid, with a complex flavour — an intense, peppery body with a

sharp edge to it and the characteristic sheep’s milk aftertaste.

But the Grandvewe Manchego is over 12 months old so we will have to

create our own category for it!

So now lets look at how you can serve your manchego:-

 

–              First, Spanish tapas platter: an aged Manchego works perfectly in

the middle of a tapas platter, surrounded by gorgeous Spanish

Jamon, green olives, crusty bread and dulce de membrillo (a sweet

quince paste). This should be your first option for aged Manchego.

 

–              For a Manchego Curado, you have infinite options. Apple and

Manchego Salad is easy — a salad of tart Granny Smith apples,

smooth Manchego Curado cheese, chives, smoked almonds, olive oil

and apple cider vinegar.

 

–              Try a Manchego Hot Dog.  It’s a hot dog variant with a Spanish

touch. A crusty bun with deep red chorizo sausage, rocket and

Manchego Curado.

 

 

–              Italian fusion Manchego Pizza: take a good thin pizza base, cover

with tomato base mixed with paprika, add slices of fresh tomato,

sweet green olives and top with grated manchego curado – simple yet

so effective!

And remember to serve your manchego with some great Spanish wine.

Personally I love a Spanish tempranillo to complement a great

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Keep being ewenique!

 

Diane Rae

Master Cheesemaker

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