Learn About Manchego Cheese

Author: Chef Toby

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What is Manchego cheese?

Manchego cheese is a type of sheep’s milk cheese that hails from the La Mancha region of Spain. The cheese is pale yellow and has a wax rind. 

Manchego cheese comes in four varieties: Fresco, Semi-Curado, Curado, and Viejo, which all vary in age. Fresco is only aged for two weeks, while Viejo is anywhere between one to two years old. 

Learn About Manchego Cheese

What does Manchego cheese taste like?

All varieties of Manchego cheese have a sweet and fruity flavor, with other variations. Younger cheeses have a rich, and grassy flavor; on the other hand, older Manchegos like Curado and Viejo have deeper notes of sweetness and caramel.

How can you eat Manchego cheese?

Manchego cheese is a terrific melting cheese to use in dishes like mac and cheese, sandwiches, and savory pastries. It also pairs well with salads, eggs and is great even on its own as a snack or on a cheese platter. 

Where can you buy Manchego cheese?

Find Manchego cheese at most deli counters and specialty grocery stores. 

How do you store Manchego cheese

To store this cheese, wrap it in wax or parchment paper and keep it in the refrigerator. Manchego cheese can stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks. 

Fun Fact about Manchego cheese

Manchego cheese is protected by PDO guidelines, which is a certification that protects the origins of the cheese. Real Manchego cheese will have a seal that indicates that it is authentic. 

Did you know?

Manchego cheese has an inedible wax rind, that has a beautiful zig-zag pattern, which comes from the grass mold that the cheese is made in.

Recipes Using Manchego Cheese:

Fried Manchego Cheese with Apricot Sauce

Manchego cheese’s sturdy texture makes it great for frying. Bread pieces of cheese with egg and breadcrumbs and fry in vegetable oil until golden brown on the outside. Serve the cheese with a sauce made with apricot preserves and sage.

Brussels Sprouts with Manchego Cheese Sauce

Earthy Brussels sprouts and the fruity, strong flavor of manchego cheese work well together in this side dish. To make it, combine butter, cream, thyme, parmesan cheese, and manchego cheese in a saucepan. Roast Brussels sprouts in a baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over the Brussels sprouts after cooking. Top with more grated Manchego cheese and pair the side dish with beef, chicken, or pork dishes.

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

To make this puree, blend freshly steamed cauliflower and heavy cream. Once fully incorporated, mix in olive oil and Manchego cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve in place of mashed potatoes with a variety of different meals.

Baked Manchego with Chorizo and Salsa Verde

This baked Manchego cheese dip is perfect for sharing on a game night or family gatherings. In a cast-iron pan, add cubed manchego cheese. Top the skillet with cooked Spanish chorizo and salsa verde made with olives, parsley, olive oil, garlic, mint, and vinegar. Bake this in the oven until the manchego cheese is fully melted and serve with toasted bread

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Manchego Cheese

This simple vegetable dish is a great way to let manchego cheese shine. Grill asparagus coated in olive oil for 8 minutes or until tender. Move the asparagus to a platter and top with freshly grated Manchego cheese and lemon zest. Learn more about different types of graters and what kind to use for this recipe here.

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