Manchego cheese is the prestige of Spanish cheeses

Published : 02/02/2016 00:15:36
Categories : Quesos Rss feed

A little background on Manchego cheese and some data:

From ancient times in the region of La Mancha, the shepherds produced this artisan cheese following traditional processes that were passed down from father to son. The name La Mancha comes from the Muslim term "Al Mansha" which means "land without water." An arid area with relatively extreme climates, where Manchego sheep breed, is fully heated. Those manchego cheeses made from raw milk are regarded as artisanal.

Manchego in oil

The preparation process of Manchego cheese consists of the following processes:

  1. Curdled milk. The milk of Manchego sheep is kept cold until it is used. The milk is heated to 30° C, natural rennet is added, and then it is maintained at this temperature for 45 minutes. The curd is subjected to successive cuts until it is a granulated mass. This is reheated to reach 37°C to cause maximum serum separation.
  2. Molding and pressing. The curd is put into "Mancha style" cylindrical molds to shape and finish removing the remaining serum with the help of pressing, which can last from 1 to 6 hours. It is in the press when the true Manchego cheese of PDO is identified. by applying a plate of casein identification number and a number that enables identification of each piece individually.
  3. Salty. Once removed from the mold, it is then salted by being immersed in brine for a period ranging from a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 48 hours.
  4. Drying and maturation. The parts remain in place with adequate humidity to remove excess water. Then, they are introduced into chambers at a temperature between 3°C and 16°C and a relative humidity of between 75% and 90%. Throughout the duration of the maturation process of the cheese, this is where it is maintained.

Manchego cheese

Characteristics of manchego cheese:

The cheese ripening lasts no less than 30 days for weights of less than 1.5 kg of cheese and 60 days for larger weights, which is counted from the date of molding. Its bark has a hard consistency and its color ranges from pale yellow to greenish-black. Their paste is firm and compact as maturation goes from white to ivory-yellow and has small eyes unevenly distributed.

Its flavor is slightly acidic, strong, and transforms into spicy in the most cured, with a pronounced persistence in the mouth.

Manchego cheese is noted for its versatility in culinary use. It can be consumed as part of tapas, salads, eaten with quince, dried fruit, as an ingredient in many recipes, desserts, cheese themed tables, or even in exclusive tables of manchego cheese differentiated by their level of curing.

If you are among the few who have not yet tried manchego cheese, do not hesitate. You will enjoy it!

Manchego cheese

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