A Taste of SpainOctober 10, 2013
Spanish cheesemakers have been perfecting the art and tradition of artisan cheesemaking for centuries, making the country one of the most interesting cheesemaking regions. Pacific Cheese supplies a world of cheese, including the finest specialty cheeses from Spain.
Spain’s most popular cheese, Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese with a gentle, nutty flavor and floral aroma. It is a semi-firm cheese with a rich golden interior and distinctive dark patterned rind. It pairs well with Spanish fruity red wines and is often served with sweet quince paste.
A real Manchego is made only with milk from Manchega sheep in the La Mancha region of Spain.
- 400,000 Manchega sheep live in the La Mancha region
- 1 sheep provides milk for 8 wheels of cheese a year
Manchego must be inspected and certified by the Consejo Regulador de la Denominacion de Origen Queso Manchego (Regulatory Council DOP for Manchego Cheese). Once certified, each Manchego wheel receives a seal that contains a serial number guaranteeing that the product has passed the stringent control of the council and is of the highest quality. The seal can be found attached to the label, bottom of the wheel, or in the plastic packaging of the cheese.
Produced exclusively for foodservice operators, a Manchego-style cheese is also packaged in a 7-pound loaf, instead of the classic wheel. The loaf allows for easy slicing, handling and storage for foodservice and deli applications.
Spain's second most popular cheese, Mahón is a cow‘s milk cheese named after the capital of the small island of Menorca. After ripening in underground caves for at least 60 days, Mahón develops a bold, magnificent flavor. The yellowish-orange rind, which is rubbed with olive oil and paprika, conceals a soft, slightly briny and nutty interior. Mahón is traditionally served as an appetizer, drizzled with olive oil and served with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Mahon was historically formed into square blocks for shipping by boat from the island to mainland Spain, and the cheese still features this distinctive shape today.
Often mistaken for Manchego, Iberico is made from a blend of cow, goat and sheep’s milk that features a milder, unique flavor. Iberico is excellent for cooking and it melts well when shaved. It pairs well with Spanish red wines.
Cabra Al Vino
Cabra al Vino is a goat’s milk cheese that is soaked in Spanish wine. The cheese undergoes a minimum aging period of 30 days in a natural cellar, and then it is soaked in wine for 48 to 72 hours forming a violet-colored rind. The result is a creamy rich cheese that becomes even richer with the accent of wine that imparts a flowery aroma and a pleasant fruity taste.
For more information about these Spanish cheeses, and more, available at Pacific Cheese, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: A World of Cheese