Cheese of the Day: March 15 – Manchego – Marcella The Cheesemonger International Guilde des Fromagers
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Cheese of the Day: March 15 – Manchego

Queso Manchego

Manchego presented by ACS CCP® Elizabeth Nerud

Good Morning! Our cheese of the day is the first sheep’s milk cheese we fell in love with: the famous Spanish MANCHEGO!

It is a semi-hard, uncooked, pressed cheese, made from either raw or pasteurized milk. The rennet is animal. It is ripened for up to a year, and has several classifications for its age. Fresco, sold mostly in Spain, is only 2 weeks old. semi-curado is aged up to 4 months, curado is aged up to six months, and anejo/viejo is aged up to one year.

I have also seen this aged version called Riserva. Manchego received its protected designation of origin (survive in the Spanish region known as La Mancha. PDO) in1984. The labeling requires the PDO mark, and each wheel also has a casien plaque which a serial number which identifies the producer and batch.

It is made from the milk of the Manchega sheep, which are well known for their ability to thrive in the harsh climate of La Mancha.

The paste is yellowish ivory, and may have a few small eyes scattered throughout. It is slightly acidic, with beautiful lanolin flavors with pair beautifully with olives, and its traditional accompaniment, the delicious membrillo, (quince paste).

Manchego is clearly identifiable by its beautiful rind, which is a basket weave pattern, a tribute to the olden days when a plaited belt of esparto grass was used to shape the cheese and drain the whey.

For more deeper diving in the history of Manchego, click here.

And learn more about the perfect pairing of Manchego, Quince paste.

Our Facebook Cheese Study Group is raising funds to send worthy ACS CCP exam® candidates and ACS CCPs® who want to attend the 2017 ACS Conference in Denver, Cheese With Altitude. You can apply for a scholarship by clicking here and you can contribute to the scholarship fund by clicking here. All monies raised (withe the exception of the fees charged by GoFundMe) go to the winners of the scholarship. everyone involved in the scholarship efforts is donating their time and receiving NO fees or monetary compensation… just the feeling of helping those who need our help. Complete rules and information can be found here.

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