Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Product Review: Ponce de León Trading Company Manchego Cheese

In perusing the internet [1] I'd arrived at the conclusion that Manchego cheese from Spain (not the American variety I've already reviewed [2]) is a rather powerful cheese which is notably 'sheepy' in its character. So I was a little surprised to find that I could by a wedge of it at none other than Target. Since I'd had a good experience with P'tit Basque [3], which is touted as being milder and more accessible than Manchego, I decided to take a leap and try this stronger cheese.

Traditionally, Manchego cheese curds were pressed into woven-grass baskets and allowed to cure.[4] This gave the rind a woven pattern derived from the basket. Nowadays the pattern is produced with a mold. The rind of the uncut cheese is often brushed with olive oil prior to being packaged and shipped. (Note that the rind should be removed before you eat the cheese.)

My verdict: I thought this Manchego was milder than the P'tit Basque. It definitely has a 'sheepy' character, but overall the cheese was pretty mild. I suspect that this may be a result of buying a non-PDO cheese.[5] I actually got Leann to taste it [6] and she said it was...tolerable. But she wouldn't ever ask for it. I wouldn't, either, since I would rather have Kerrygold Dubliner cheese.


[1] e.g. here.

[2] You can read that review here.

[3] You can read that review here.

[4] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchego#Manufacture and labelling.

[5] PDO stands for Protected Designation of Origin. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected Geographical Status.

[6] Since my mother-in-law, Carolyn, and my mom both came to help us with the baby, I got both of them to try it, too.

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