Manchego Cheese, A Delicious Cheese to Pair with Wine

Pair Mancheo cheese with wine!

My favorite to-go-to cheese for pairing with wine is the Manchego cheese sold at our local Costco store. I discovered Manchego a couple of years ago and find that its flavorful but delicate taste pairs well with white or red wines. Some suggest pairing the cheese with Sherry. Manchego taste profile does not overpower the yummy taste of the wine.

Curious about the origins of Manchego cheese, my research provided some interesting information about Manchego:

  • Manchego is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain.
  • The cheese must be produced with milk from Manchega ewes.
  • Manchego may be made with unpasteurized or pasteurized milk.
  • Traditionally Manchego cheese is aged for six months to 24 months.
  • The rind of the cheese is a dark gray color with a slight zigzag weave.
  • The natural rind of the cheese can be washed, covered with paraffin  and dipped in olive oil. Other clear materials that are approved may also be used on the rind.
  • Manchego cheese has  Spain’s “Denominación de Origen” protection.
  • The EU has designated Protected Designation of Origin for Manchego cheese.
  • Studies have shown that Manchego cheese was made back during BC’s Bronze Age.

The length of time for aging the Manchego cheese results in different flavors.

Decorative Manchego cheese rind

A few weeks ago, we served Manchego cheese with wine. Our guests decided that the rind on the cheese was edible; later an internet search revealed that the rind of the Manchego cheese is considered inedible. Fortunately our guests suffered no ill effects from eating the rind; however, I would not recommend eating the Manchego rind.

Cheers!
Kathy

Adopting an Olive Tree!

Adopt an olive tree with NudoAdopt

For Christmas, we received a wonderful gift of olive oil. This olive oil gift is unique as it involves an adoption of an olive tree at an artisan producer in Italy. Shortly after receiving notice of our gift, we registered with Nudo Adopt. Our adoption tree will be ours for one year and we have the option of renewing the adoption for another year.

When registering we needed to choose the region in Italy where we wanted our olive tree. Participants can register to have their adopted olive tree located in one of three regions of Italy: Le Marche, Sicily or Liguria. To help decide which region we wanted our olive tree to be growing, the Nudo website offers a profile of each olive grove.

After registering with Nudo, we received a nice bundled package that included three 250ml cans of olive oil. Each can was slightly different and included: Olive and Garlic Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil Infused with Chillies and Olive and Lemon Oil. All of the oils were made with 100% Italian olives.

A small pamphlet accompanying the olive oils describes the growth of the olives beginning with early spring.

Our next delivery of olive oil will take place after the olives are harvested and processed. According to the Nudo website under Will I get any olive oil from my tree? “All adoptive parents receive a Spring Delivery of three tins of extra virgin olive oil, provided the adoption has been registered. This ‘represents’ the produce form your tree. We say ‘represents’ because we don’t press the olives from each tree one by one. Instead we pick several trees at once and divide the resulting oil between the adoptive parents.”

Anyone who travels to the Italian region  where their adopted tree is growing is able to visit “their” tree, if the company is given enough notice.

For us this was a great gift as we enjoy using high quality olive oils in our everyday cooking.

For those who enjoy drinking tea, Nudo also offers a tea garden. Check the tea gardens out on the Nudo site.

Cheers!
Kathy