Photograph of Manchego
Map of Spain showing the location of La Mancha

Firm, ivory-coloured paste and a full, piquant flavour.

Made using ewes' milk Made using pasteurised milk Suitable during pregnancy.

Manchego is Spain's most famous cheese. It is made only on the plain of La Mancha from the milk of the hardy La Mancha sheep. The sheep graze on the shrubs and grasses of the Dahesa and produce a thick, aromatic milk that gives Manchego its character. This cheese is thought to have been made since Roman times although its manufacture now is limited to the provinces of Ciudad Real, Albacete, Cuenca and Toledo in the south-east of central Spain

The rind of the cheese is unique. Originally the rinds bore the impressions of the plaited esparto grass baskets in which the shepherds had pressed the curds by hand and of the flowers that were placed on top. Today the same patterns are imparted by the moulds in which the cheeses are pressed.

Manchego is sold at several ages. Fresh and young it is called Manchego fresco. From three to thirteen weeks it is known as Manchego curado and from nine to twelve months, Manchego viego. We sell the twelve month version at The Teddington Cheese. Manchego en aceite is a Manchego which has been matured for over a year and during this time it is soaked and brushed with olive oil. This washing in olive oil helps preserve the cheese in the same way that olives are preserved.

The paste is firm and ivory coloured and is dotted with small eyes. Manchego has a piquant salty flavour and melts in the mouth. Our Manchego is generally made with pasteurised milk. It has a fabulous flavour despite being pasteurised, and has become a popular choice of expectant mothers (who are advised not to try the unpasteurised cheeses).

Each cheese is 20cm in diameter, 12cm high, weighs 3kg and has a fat content of 50%. Manchego is fabulous on the cheese board, it can be enjoyed as a tapas, accompanied by quince.

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