Types of Spanish Cheese
Spanish Cheese from a country with a diverse range of culinary styles comes in a variety of rich and complex flavours. Manchego is probably the most well known outside Spain. Sheep and Goat cheeses are both common, the latter in Andalucia. Mixed milk cheeses are also very common.
Spanish Cheese is a fresh or cured product obtained from the coagulation and separartion of any of the following products: Cows milk, cream, butter whey or a mixture of any of them.
Cured cheeses are those which have been left to cure for a long time, these are normally the sheep's milk cheese and are stronger in taste.
Fresh cheese has no curing process at all.
Semi-cured corresponds to normally semi-soft or semi-cured cheeses. Its flavor being between medium and strong.
Soft cheese hardly has any curing process and its flavor is light. Cow's milk cheeses predominate here.
Each cheese has its own particular characteristics regarding the type of milk, the curing and production process.
Flavours are classified as light, medium and strong, depending on the curing of the cheese, the type of milk and the breed used.
Light flavored cheeses are not generally transformed or fermented except for the lactic fermentation.
Medium flavored cheeses are usually semi-cured and go well with young red wines.
Strong flavored cheeses with the longest curing process go well with red wines with body.
Types of Spanish Cheeses
Manchego: Spain's most famous cheese, said to be a favorite of Don Quixote, made from pure La Mancha sheeps milk. Manchego is prized for its rich, complex flavor and grainy texture. The Dominion of Origin (D.O) seal guarantees the quality of this tangy, full flavored, slightly grainy cheese. This cheese is also sometimes infused with rosemary which enhances its flavor.
Mahon Reserva: Olive oil and paprika lend colour and aroma to the rind of this distinctive cheese made from cow's milk from the Balearic Island of Menorca in the Mediterranean.
Idiazabel: With its smoky, rich taste and perfumed aroma, this is the quintessential shepherds cheese of the Basque country, made from sheep's milk
Murcia al Vino: 100% goats milk cheese from Murcia, bathed in a full bodied red wine, giving a unique distinctive rich flavor.
Iberico: A blend of cow's and sheep's milk gives this cheese its smooth flavor. A popular Spanish cheese often enjoyed with quince paste, 'Membrillo' or savored with a red wine.
Manchego is the most famous cheese from Spain, said to be a favorite of Don Quixote. This sheep's milk cheese is from La Mancha. It is common for Spanish cheese to be made from sheep's milk due to the rocky, arid territory found in Andalucia.