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Manchego
Manchego.jpg
Country of origin Spain
Region La Mancha
Source of milk sheep
Texture Semi-firm
Dimensions 25 cm x 12 cm wheel

Manchego is a sheep's milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain. Manchego is aged for three months or longer, and is semi-firm with a rich golden color and small holes. It ranges from mild to sharp, depending on how long it is aged.

Contents

Features

El Trigal Manchego

Manchego is produced in La Mancha and is made only from the whole milk of Manchega sheep. Manchego is barrel-shaped and weighs about 2 kg (4 lb). It comes in a 25 cm (10") diameter wheel, 12 cm (5") thick, with a herringbone design on the inedible rind caused by the surface of the press used in the manufacturing process. (This traditional embossed pattern dates from when the cheese was wrapped in sheets of woven esparto grass.)

Additionally, Manchego is pressed using wooden boards that leave imprints of wheat-ear patterns on the top and bottom of the product, rendering a unique and earthy appearance.

Manchego's flavour is very distinctive, slightly salty but not too strong. It is creamy with a slight piquancy, and leaves the characteristic aftertaste of sheep’s milk; it tastes very similar to feta cheese, though not as salty and with a chewier texture. Just like wine, Serrano ham and olive oil, Manchego cheese is protected by its Denominación de Origen. This controls its production, ensures the exclusive use of milk only from the Manchega sheep, and dictates an aging period (in natural caves) of a minimum of two months.

A similar cheese is popular in Mexico and Spanish-speaking areas of the United States, where origin and method of production are not specifically regulated. Mexican Manchego is typically a semi-firm (not hard) cheese used for melting, similar to that of Oaxaca cheese, both of which are often used in quesadillas).[1]

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