The Spanish Language Blog

Many people do not know that Spain has a wide variety of cheeses. Yet you can find all kinds of different cheeses in Spain. One of the most famous is the Manchego cheese, but Spain has many other different cheeses. Most Spanish cheese finds its origin in the area of Asturias, which is known as a real cheese region.

  • Manchego is one of the best known Spanish cheeses and is also widely eaten in the Netherlands.
  • The famous cheese region of Asturias hosts an annual cheese market, where farmers from all over the region sell their products.

Spain has a wide variety of cheeses, so you can find many different cheeses, all with very different tastes. Actually, all types of cheeses are made in Spain. For example, you can find the well-known young and old cheese, but also white cheese, blue cheese or extra spicy cheese. Some well-known cheeses from Spain are the Manchego, the Tetilla and the Cabrales. Spanish cheese is made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats or a combination of these three.

Spain's most famous cheese region is Asturias in northern Spain. In this region, small family farms have been making cheese for generations.  What is nice to see when you visit this region is that shepherds still roam the area with their flocks of sheep and goats. The most famous cheese from this region is the Cabrales, a mold cheese that comes from the combination of cow, sheep and goat milk. This cheese owes its special taste to the aging process in limestone caves.  Every last Sunday of August, the area hosts a large cheese market, where cheese farmers from all over the area gather to sell their products.

Manchego Cheese

The most famous cheese from Spain is the Manchego cheese. This sheep's cheese is named after La Mancha and has been made here from the whole milk of Manchega sheep for over two thousand years. Manchego has a rather sweet but mild flavor. The cheese used to be very popular with shepherds, who took it with them on their treks, because it had a very long shelf life. Today, the cheese has an aging period of about two to three months and can be divided into 4 categories. Young Manchego is called "fresco" in Spain, young cured is called "semicurado", cured is called "curado" and old Manchego is called "viejo" in Spain.

Manchego cheese is one of the many Spanish specialties and is used in many different ways. It can be eaten as a tapa, incorporated into a salad or, of course, served on a cheese board, where it is often combined with a paste of quince and nuts. What is special about Manchego cheese is that nowadays it is actually produced all over Spain but no one has ever managed to recreate it perfectly like in La Mancha. This is because the weather conditions in La Mancha are unique. The summers are long, dry and very hot, while the winters are very cold. 

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