Smile and Say……”M” is for MANCHEGO


I guess you can figure out my theme for the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge. That’s right, it’s cheese!  I hope you enjoy these posts!

“M” is for MANCHEGO

Creative Commons/Zerchund
Creative Commons/Zerchund

Yes, going for the obscure. Manchego takes its name from the dry plateau of La Mancha, south of Madrid and not far from Toledo, Spain. Originally named by the Arabs “Al Mansha” (meaning land without water), La Mancha is a vast, dry, flat region with few trees, and scorched by temperatures that can reach 122 degrees F, with minimal rainfall.

Manchego is one of the popular cheeses from Spain. Authentic Manchego is only made from the Manchego sheep’s milk. The farmhouse version is produced from unpasteurized milk while the industrial version is made from pasteurized milk.

The rind is inedible with a distinctive, traditional herringbone basket weave pattern, pressed on it. There are specific differences in Manchego cheeses, depending on their aging period.

Semi Curado – Young Manchego cheese is aged around 3 months are supple and moist. The flavor is fruity, grass, hay with a tangy note.

Curado – Manchego cheese aged for 6 months acquires a caramel and nutty flavor. It has distinct acidity.

Viejo – Manchego cheese aged for a year becomes crumbly in texture while the interior of the cheese acquires a butterscotch color. It has a sweet, lingering taste.

Manchego cheeses are best paired with a sherry.

22 thoughts on “Smile and Say……”M” is for MANCHEGO

  1. I had Spanish Manchego just last night for supper! With Merlot. But I looked up the cheese I had (after reading your post) and Merlot was on the wine pairings list, along with sherry. ~Whew!~ I believe the one I ate was aged 3 months, but it was quite nutty and delicious. The online description reads, “reminiscent of flowers, nuts and lavender, ” but I’m nut so sure about the lavender and flowers part! I ate the Manchego with Milton’s “Everything” crackers, and get this: Wickles Pickles. LOL #LifeofaSingleGirl


      1. Well you are doing an excellent job! I buy Manchego often and I didn’t really know that much about it except that it’s from Spain and I like it. Your posts are very enlightening, I read every one!


  2. I’m learning so much about cheeses! I had to cut almost all saturated fat from my diet and watch the sodium. I despise the fat-free cheese. Do you know if there are any fine-tasting cheeses that are close to fat-free? Hope you don’t mind, but I value your opinion as an expert in cheeses since you’ve done such wonderful research! 🙂


    1. Unfortunately, no good cheese is close to fat free but I believe the saturated fat in goat cheese, like chèvre, is not a “bad” saturated fat if that makes any sense. I’m not a doctor, but that is what I have read.
      Good luck! 🙂


  3. M,
    122 Deg F!! It’s amazing the sheep or grass food suply even survived in that terrain with so little water. Of course “someone” has to say it, so it might as well be me……….With temps like that, maybe it was the “real” reason Don Quixote cracked up?


  4. Martha, this upcoming event (wine and cheese tour) may be of interest to your readers…
    Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend, April 25-27, Seneca Lake, NY.
    More than 30 different Seneca Lake wineries are participating.
    Depending on the weather, I may attend because it is close to our home here. Purchasing tickets in advance is not necessary.
    Also, consider taking a tour during the summer months when it is absolutely beautiful up here. Here is the link:


  5. We see a lot of that around here, but not one of my favorite cheeses. Your blog inspired me to try to find out something about a cheese my family ate when I was growing up called, Tuma. The domestic variety is available locally. I had forgotten all about it.


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