One way to recognise Manchego is by its traditional, distinctive rind. Although inedible, the rind has a distinctive herringbone basket weave pattern pressed into it. This tradition comes from the grass molds that used to be used to shape the cheese, however in reality nowadays the molds are made of plastic. Depending on whether this traditional ear wheat pattern is pressed onto the top or bottom of the cheese wheel, this can signify a difference in the ageing period.
Manchego can make a great start to a meal as an aperitivo. A great combination to try with Manchego are nuts, such as walnuts, or almonds as are particularly popular in Spain.
Manchego also serves very well as an after dinner addition. Traditionally served with membrillo (quince jam) at the end of a meal, this fine combination matches very well with Spanish dessert wines or sherry from Jerez (such as fino, amontillado or dry oloroso wines). The name Manchego means literally produced in la Mancha. La Mancha, land of Don Quixote and the world´s largest vineyard extension. You can discover more about this region in our Don Quixote wind mills tour from Madrid.