Manchego – Der berühmteste Spanier neben Don Quijote: Queso Manchego

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As you can guess from the name, queso manchego comes originally from La Mancha, Don Quixote’s homeland in the southeast of Spain. In Cervantes’ classic 17th century novel the cheese is even mentioned by name. But the quality of manchego was praised long before by the ancient Romans who pitched their tents in the area they called the “campus espartarius” as just one of the delicacies they discovered in the Iberian Peninsula.

© Hersteller Manchego

Manchego

Manchego is the Spanish cheese that is best known and most popular among international cheeses and, together with chorizo, Serrano ham and gambas, is a must on any tapas platter. It is easy to spot, with its light-yellow, elastic, fine body and typical herringbone pattern on the rind – whose resemblance to ears of corn is no coincidence. The pattern is formed from the moulds lined with esparto grass into which the liquid cheese mass is poured after being heated to 33 degrees. This sharp Spanish cheese also tastes of the pungent herbs from the plains of Castille and sometimes has a hint of olives about it, explained by the fact that some manchegos are allowed to mature in olive oil. The waxy rind then has a brownish black tinge.

© Hersteller Manchego

Manchego

Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese whose liquid base comes from the Manchega sheep first introduced into Spain from North Africa by the Arabs. The milk is pasteurized, the cheese is dry-salted after fermentation or placed in brine. It comes as “fresco”, “semifresco” or “tierno”- depending on whether it has been matured for a few days, a few weeks or from one to two months. The “curado” or “veijo” variety means it is between three and six months old. One variety known as “añejo” can be described as aged and has been matured for about one year. The longer the maturing process, the darker the body of the cheese. Manchegos also have varying consistencies and a taste scale ranging from mild and creamy to zesty or a taste of roasted nuts.

Serving Suggestions:

© Hersteller Manchego

Manchego

As a classic aperitif cheese, manchego, cut in thin slices, goes well with any type of sherry from dry to sweet and also to white or red Rioja. Fruit such as quinces or figs, are also a good accompaniment as are a mix of fresh nuts. When well matured, this cheese from the literary home of Don Quixote works well as grated cheese if grilled or lightly melted on canapés or meat and vegetable dishes. One especially tasty cheese dish is manchego cut into strips about 1 cm thick, wrapped in Serrano ham, quickly sautéed in a pan of hot olive oil and served with a glass of wine.

Region:

Spain, Castille, La Mancha

Cheese variety:

Hard cheese from sheep’s milk

Fat content:

Min. 50% FDM. (Fat per 100 g; approx. 26g)

Flavour:

The aroma of manchego is mellow-sharp and reminiscent of meadows of wild herbs. A young manchego tastes creamy with slightly tart undertones, a mature cheese has a nutty aroma.

Season:

year-round

Bildquellen

  • Manchego: Hersteller Manchego
  • Manchego: Hersteller Manchego
  • Manchego: Hersteller Manchego
  • Manchego: Hersteller Manchego
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