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Your Favorite Spanish Cheeses

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A friend and I have been discussing Spanish cheeses. I've learned a bit about them over the past week or so. What are your favorite Spanish cheeses - maybe you can provide a little description of their taste and texture , and post what area of Spain they're from.

Thanks!

Shel
post #2 of 11
One of my favorite Spanish cheeses is cabrales, a blue cheese from a small area surrounding a village of the same name. Though primarily made from cow's milk it can be made from a mix of cow, sheep and goat's milk. Compared to gorgonzola and roquetfort, the blue veins in cabrales are small, less distinct and way more numerous, sometimes to the point where the whole cheese can seem blue. In flavor it tends to be stronger and more acidic than the other 2.
post #3 of 11
Of the few I've tried, I'm fond of Manchego. Well aged, reminiscent of Parmesan but different.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 11
Ibores, Mahon, Zamorano (like Manchego but 50 times more!) .. so much to choose from!

I find artisanal Spanish cheeses interesting. Many don't use rennet as a coagulant, but rather cardoon thistle, fig bark and other vegetal enzymes. These enzymes come from the cow's natural habitat, and gives the milk another dimension. De la Serena is a classic example; a very unusual cheese.
post #5 of 11
Manchego and quince jam! The best.


I also like petite basque.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
There are at least three styles of Manchego. Which do you prefer with quince jam?

The "petite basque" is actually a French cheese.

Shel
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information. Very helpful for anyone interested in Spanish cheese.

Kind regards,

Shel
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I like many varieties of blue cheese, and an authentic, aged, mixed milk cabrales is one of my favorites.

Shel
post #9 of 11
Pete, I always thought it was interesting how the blue veining developped. In most blue cheeses, particularly industrial ones, the penicilium roqueforti is mixed in with the milk or the curd. Once the cheese is formed, it is pierced to allow oxygen to feed the spores and the blue veining develops around the piercings. In the case of Roquefort, Valdeon and Cabrales, no P. Roqueforti is introduced to the recipe, only to the environment. It is often naturally occuring in a ripening cave. What I find interesting is how the network of veins develops so evenly without the added benefit of piercing. I wonder if time is a factor: a younger blue needs peircing more than an aged one perhaps? Must investigate....

Yes, I am a cheese geek....

Edit: Roquefort DOES have P. Roqueforti mixed in with the curd. My bad.
post #10 of 11
Eh, it's a basque cheese, so it can cross the border with impunity.

I prefer young manchego with quince jam. The older stuff seems to taste better on its own or with a little ham.


I'm seconding Mahon.

Adding Idiazabel cheese to the list.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
That may be, but it's still French :smiles:

Shel
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