Manchego: Mild and Fruity

August 12, 2010

Manchego. Ho-hum, was my initial thought at the cheese shop.  Too popular.  Too available.  Too boring.  Yet, we wanted “something sweet” and Manchego fit the bill.

Manchego is widely produced in Spain with production in both pasteurized and raw milks. Our sample was made from raw milk.

Manchego

Manchego is a light golden yellow, riddled with holes.  The hard rind is embedded with a herringbone pattern.  The interior surface is dimpled and firm to the touch.

This cheese smells slightly stinky, like a handful of daisies.

Manchego is a fruity cheese, tasting a bit like a dried plum or grape jam.  It finishes with a soft nutty flavor.  It leaves a mild nutty aftertaste. The texture of Manchego is creamy and slightly grainy (similar to, but not as grainy as, Piedmont).

We all liked Manchego.  It’s a solid and satisfying sheep’s milk cheese.  Perhaps it is a little boring, yet I would buy a raw milk version again.  This cheese was similar in style to Piedmont, yet I found Piedmont more memorable in flavor and a cheese I would be more likely to return to versus Manchego.

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