It is a snowy March day, and the winds are beginning to stir these 10 inches of fresh yet heavy snow. I have worked all day for my clients, and now I thought I would knock off and review one of my favorite charcuterie board cheeses, Manchego (pronounced man-chey-go). I poured a glass of Anyela’s Albarino, and sliced a piece or two to come to room temperature while I wrote.
Wegman’s Cave Aged Manchego Cheese
Thanks to Zach, a wonderful cheese monger at the Calkins Road (Henrietta, NY) Wegman’s, for suggesting this versatile Manchego cheese. I have loved Manchego ever since Chip and I had it on a pizza at Gilda’s In Skaneateles, New York. They use it on their Hot Sopressata pizza that includes spicy soppressata, crushed tomatoes, aged mozzarella, chili, honey, and pecorino Toscano. Phenomenal. (See our knockoff recipe: Hot & Spicy Monkey Pizza)
Wegmans describes their Manchego as, Our Wegmans Brand Cave Aged Manchego is made in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, at the unique Cheese Caves of Alimentias and aged for 4 months. Marrying tradition with technology, this first-of-its-kind cave aging facility allows artisans to control temperature, humidity, and air quality to reflect the conditions of La Mancha. The DOP Manchego Cheese is produced in adherence to traditional techniques with high-quality milk from the Manchega breed of sheep before being transported to the caves to complete the aging process.
Oak barrels and greenhouse herbs like lavender and thyme infuse the atmosphere as the cheeses age, resulting in subtle yet noticeable notes of flavor. Wegmans Cave Aged Manchego is fresh with a slightly herbal aroma and has a natural rind with an ashy appearance and traditional basket weave design.
…And that is exactly what you will see, smell, and taste with this cheese. Fresh off the wheel or used in cooking, Manchego is a perfect choice.
What is Manchego cheese?
Manchego is sheep’s milk cheese from Spain. It will not disappoint.
- Flavor: The flavor can be sharp if aged longer than four months.
- Type: Semi-soft
- Texture: semi-firm; nutty flavor and marked with a few holes.
- Aroma: oddly and wonderfully grassy and herbal, yet these aromas do not negatively affect the taste
The distinctive zigzag pattern on the wax rind of the cheese proves that the cheese is Manchego and guarantees the exclusive use of milk only from Manchega sheep and that the cheese has been aged for a minimum of two months. (BBC Good Food)
I love to slice Manchego along with thinly sliced Prosciutto in a mixed green salad with olives and an oil and vinegar simple toss. Perreca’s bread makes a perfect companion. You can grill a thickly sliced Manchego and create the perfect sandwich using soppressata, arugula, and a drizzle of olive oil, and salt & pepper. Serve that with a little Prosecco, and you have the perfect Friday night date dinner!
At $22.99 a pound (well worth it) and weighing in at 120 Calories for 1 ounce, Manchego is a winner deserving of a seat on any cheese board.
Life is short, don’t waste it eating bad cheese.
You have heard me say this before, and it is true. Cheese heals the soul, of that, I am certain, and it has certainly gotten me through these last 607 days. (who is counting?) Please give it a try and if you need company or even a little encouragement, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Special thanks to Wegmans for their dedication to delivering quality products at competitive prices. (and for hiring great people like Zach)