World Cheese Tasting Guide · Spain

Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

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This guide is for all of the people that think that the moon is made of cheese.  You are clearly wrong.  The Earth is made of cheese and our guide to tasting cheese from around the world will guide you through it.  First cheese tasting stop.  Spain.

Cheese has been a staple in Spain for thousands of years, with the ancient Iberians whipping up delicious creations using sheep’s and goat’s milk. When the Romans invaded, they brought with them their love of cheese, and the two civilizations combined forces to make cheesemaking an art form.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages, and monasteries were the rockstars of cheese production, keeping the tradition alive and well. And while the 19th and 20th centuries saw cheese production get a modern makeover, the traditional methods and local cheeses have stood the test of time.

Today, cheese is a huge part of Spain’s food culture, with a dazzling array of cheeses being produced and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. From the world-famous Manchego to the tangy and delightful Cabrales, Spanish cheeses are a true taste sensation, enjoyed all over the globe.

Manchego Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

Manchego Cheese

Manchego is a traditional cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain, where it has been made for centuries. It’s made from the milk of the Manchega sheep, which are native to the area. Manchego is one of the most famous cheeses in Spain and is widely exported around the world.

This cheese has a nutty and slightly salty flavor, with a firm texture that becomes crumbly as it ages. The flavor of Manchego can range from mild to sharp, depending on its age.

You can find our more about the Manchego cheese on the official webpage here

Manchego Cheese Tasting Notes

Aroma: Manchego cheese has a distinct and strong sheep’s milk aroma with nutty and buttery notes.

Texture: The cheese has a dense texture, which becomes crumbly as it ages.

Flavour: Manchego has a rich, nutty flavor with notes of grass and herbs. Young Manchego has a mild flavor, while aged Manchego has a stronger, tangy taste with a slight hint of sweetness.

Appearance: Manchego cheese has a yellow to pale ivory color and is distinctive for its zigzag pattern on the rind, created by the traditional basket-weaving molds used to shape the cheese.

These cheese tasting notes are just a general guideline and can vary depending on the age of the cheese, the quality of the milk, and the region it is produced in

Manchego Cheese Pairing

This cheese pairs well with cured meats such as ham or chorizo, dried fruits such as figs or dates, and nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts. It also goes well with red wines such as Tempranillo or Rioja, or with sherry.

Idiazabal Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

Idiazabal Cheese

Idiazabal is a traditional cheese from the Basque Country in northern Spain. It’s made from the milk of the Latxa and Carranzana sheep, which are native to the area. Idiazabal was originally made by shepherds and was often used as a source of food while they were tending their flocks in the mountains.

This cheese has a smoky flavor, which comes from the traditional method of smoking the cheese over beechwood fires. It has a firm texture and a nutty taste, similar to Manchego.

The official website for Idiazabal is only available in Spanish and Basque. Find it here

Idiazabal Cheese Tasting Notes

Aroma: Idiazabal cheese has a strong, smoky aroma, with a subtle nutty scent.

Texture: The cheese has a dense and firm texture, with a slightly grainy feel.

Flavour: Idiazabal cheese has a smoky flavor, with nutty and slightly sharp notes. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Appearance: Idiazabal cheese has a pale yellow to beige color, with a natural rind that is thin and slightly sticky.

Like Manchego, these notes are just a general guideline and can vary depending on the age of the cheese, the quality of the milk, and the region it is produced in.

Idiazabal Cheese Pairing

This cheese pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables, smoked salmon, and pickled onions. It also goes well with red wines such as Rioja or Garnacha, or with cider.

Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

Tetilla Cheese

Tetilla is a cheese from the Galicia region of northwest Spain. It gets its name from its distinctive shape, which resembles a woman’s breast (in Spanish, “tetilla” means “little breast”). It’s made from the milk of the Rubia Gallega breed of cattle, which are native to the area.

This cheese has a creamy, mild flavor and a soft texture that makes it easy to spread. It’s often served as a snack or with fruit and crackers.

The official website is available in Spanish and Galician here

Tetilla Cheese Tasting Notes

 

Aroma: Tetilla cheese has a mild, slightly sweet and nutty aroma.

Texture: The cheese has a creamy and smooth texture, with a slightly elastic feel.

Flavour: Tetilla cheese has a mild, slightly nutty and sweet flavor, with a slightly salty finish.

Appearance: Tetilla cheese has a cylindrical shape with a slightly pointed top, giving it its distinctive “nipple” shape. It has a pale yellow color and a smooth, natural rind.

Tetilla Cheese Pairing

This cheese pairs well with sweet accompaniments such as honey or fruit preserves, as well as with crusty bread and cured meats. It also goes well with light red wines such as Mencía or Albariño, or with sparkling wines.

Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

Cabrales Cheese

Cabrales is a blue cheese from the Asturias region of northern Spain. It’s made from a combination of cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk, and the blue mold that gives the cheese its flavor and blue veins is introduced naturally during the aging process. Cabrales has been made for centuries and is one of the most famous blue cheeses in Spain.

This cheese has a strong, tangy flavor and a crumbly texture. The flavor is a result of the blue mold that develops during the aging process, giving the cheese its characteristic blue veins.

The official site is available in Spanish here

Aroma: Cabrales cheese has a strong, pungent, and slightly spicy aroma, with a slightly sour scent.

Texture: The cheese has a dense and crumbly texture, with veins of blue mold throughout.

Flavour: Cabrales cheese has a tangy, slightly sour and spicy flavour, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The flavor intensifies as the cheese ages.

Appearance: Cabrales cheese has a natural rind that is blue-gray in color and slightly sticky. The interior is pale yellow to ivory in color with blue-green veins.

Cabrales Cheese Tasting Notes

Aroma: Cabrales cheese has a strong, pungent, and slightly spicy aroma, with a slightly sour scent.

Texture: The cheese has a dense and crumbly texture, with veins of blue mold throughout.

Flavour: Cabrales cheese has a tangy, slightly sour and spicy flavour, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The flavor intensifies as the cheese ages.

Appearance: Cabrales cheese has a natural rind that is blue-gray in color and slightly sticky. The interior is pale yellow to ivory in color with blue-green veins.

Cabrales Cheese Pairing

This cheese pairs well with sweet accompaniments such as honey or quince paste, as well as with crusty bread and nuts. It also goes well with red wines such as Rioja or Priorato, or with strong beers.

Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

Mahón

Mahón is a cheese from the island of Menorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain. It’s made from the milk of the Menorquina breed of cattle, which are native to the island. Mahón has a distinctive salty flavor, which comes from the sea salt used to preserve the cheese in the past.

This cheese has a salty, tangy flavor and a semi-soft texture. It’s often used as a table cheese or for cooking, and its flavor becomes sharper as it ages.

Official site available in Spanish here

Mahón is a cheese from the island of Menorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain. It’s made from the milk of the Menorquina breed of cattle, which are native to the island. Mahón has a distinctive salty flavor, which comes from the sea salt used to preserve the cheese in the past.

This cheese has a salty, tangy flavor and a semi-soft texture. It’s often used as a table cheese or for cooking, and its flavor becomes sharper as it ages.

Official site available in Spanish here

Mahón Cheese Tasting Notes

Aroma: Mahón cheese has a strong, salty and nutty aroma, with a slightly sharp scent.

Texture: The cheese has a dense and slightly crumbly texture, becoming softer and creamier as it ages.

Flavour: Mahón cheese has a tangy and salty flavor, with nutty and slightly bitter notes. It has a slightly sharp aftertaste.

Appearance: Mahón cheese has a yellow to pale orange color, with a smooth and shiny rind that can be rubbed with olive oil or paprika.

Mahón Cheese Pairing

This cheese pairs well with cured meats such as ham or salami, olives, and pickles. It also goes well with red wines such as Mencía or Monastrell, or with light beers.

Spanish World Tasting Guide · Tasting Experience

Garrotxa

Garrotxa is a cheese from the Catalonia region of northeast Spain. It’s made from the milk of the Garrocha breed of goats, which are native to the area. Garrotxa is a relatively recent addition to the world of Spanish cheeses, having been first made in the 20th century.

Aroma: Garrotxa cheese has a mild, slightly tangy and goaty aroma.

Texture: The cheese has a creamy and smooth texture, with a slightly grainy feel.

Flavour: Garrotxa cheese has a mild and slightly tangy flavour, with nutty and slightly earthy notes. It has a slightly tangy aftertaste.

Appearance: Garrotxa cheese has a pale yellow to ivory color, with a natural rind that is thin and slightly sticky.

Garrotxa Cheese Pairing

This cheese pairs well with fruit accompaniments such as fresh figs or grapes, as well as with crusty bread and nuts. It also goes well with light red wines such as Pinot Noir or Garnacha, or with sparkling wines.

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