For today, we ‘left France’ for our cheese of the day.
I’m not sure why this surprised me really. No one said specifically that Cheesy Christmas was a ‘French cheese only’ promotion, but somehow I just supposed that it would be. That being said… it’s one cheese out of nineteen to date, and in the remaining few days, there will only be one other cheese that’s not French.
(Wondering ‘Why the daily cheese posts?’… read this 🙂 )
Though Spanish, this cheese too has PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin) at the European level. To give you an idea of what’s involved in PDO requirements, in order to carry the name ‘Manchego’ cheese
- It must be produced within designated parts of 5 provinces in the La Mancha region.
- It can only be made with whole milk from the Manchega sheep breed, raised on registered farms within the same geographic area.
- It must be aged for between 60 days and two years (less for smaller rounds).
- It must be made using cylindrical moulds up to 12 cm (4.7 in) high and 22 cm (8.7 in) in diameter.
Day #19: Queso Manchego
- Name: Queso Manchego
Anyone who speaks Spanish will recognize the first word in the name as being the Spanish word for cheese. ‘Manchego’ is the regional adjective for the ‘La Mancha’ region, in central Spain, an area made famous in the book Don Quixote.
- Region: Spain (La Mancha)
- Milk: Sheep milk
- Our Score: 4.9/5
While it may seem petty to come so close and not give it a 5/5, the reason is simple. As a Italian, Liz is very familiar with sheep-milk cheese (Pecorino…yum!), and her uncle spent most of his life raising sheep (he had a herd of several thousand) and making cheese. This cheese promised a bit of a salty hint in the after-taste which it didn’t deliver… it just wasn’t Pecorino. That being said… it was still a 4.9/5. A really, really lovely firm cheese.
Cheese quote of the day
Jeffery Russell, gives a pretty plain description of the cheese-making process in his book “The Dungeoneers”… somehow, cheese is a little less appealing after reading his description.
“Cheese, where you takes liquid from a cow lady’s business parts, mix it with a bit o’ juices from a baby cow’s fourth stomach and then let it grow all fuzzy-moldy for a few years, eh?”
Thankfully, he’s not talking about today’s cheese… it’s sheep-milk cheese after all. *Phew!*
Happy Cheesy Christmas….
See you tomorrow for cheese #20