PDO Manchego Cheese in NY

PDO Manchego Cheese in NYThe Manchego Cheese PDO will present to the American consumers this unique product at the following tastings sessions in Manhattan and Brooklyn. From the 25th to the 29th of March, cheese lovers in NY will have the chance to enjoy a selection of authentic Manchego Cheeses at these free tastings in central markets.

Come along and find out how to set apart original Manchego Cheeses with PDO from the fake Manchegos that currently flood US markets.

Don’t miss this opportunity!

Wednesday 3/25

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Fairway – Upper West Side

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.   Fairway – Upper East Side

Thursday 3/26

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Stinky Bklyn

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Fairway – Upper West Side

Friday 3/27

12:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Fairway Chelsea

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Fairway Kips Bay

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Whole Foods Market – Union Square

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Whole Foods Market – Brooklyn

Saturday 3/28

11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Fairway – Brooklyn

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fairway – Chelsea

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Whole Foods Market -Union Square

3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Whole Foods Market – TriBeCa

Sunday 3/29

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Fairway – Brooklyn

4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Whole Foods – Upper West

HOW TO TASTE CHEESE LIKE A PRO – Part I

Manchega Sheep

We all know that cheese and wine have a lot in common. Many Manchego producers are also dedicated winemakers, and most wine aficionados are keen cheese lovers too. The two passions go often hand in hand!

It’s no surprise then to see that cheese tasting resembles wine tasting so much.

According to Pedro Condés, Communication’s Director at the Manchego Cheese PDO Council, a good cheese tasting should be conducted in three steps: “we normally commence by tasting the milk type, then look at the rind and texture, to finally appreciate the full flavor of the cheese”. If you think about wine, that would be identifying the varietal (milk), looking at the wine body (rind and texture), sniffing and savoring (flavors). Very similar, isn’t it?

So, let’s start by tasting the milk type. If with wine all begins with the varietal, in the case of dairy, there wouldn’t be any cheese without the milk.

Manchego is made with sheep’s milk. Furthermore, true Manchego cheese is made only from whole milk of the Manchega sheep raised in the La Mancha region. This is one of the reasons that make it so special.

The Manchega sheep’s milk is recognizable in the nutty, sweet and tangy notes of the cheese. As it’s impossible to buy Machega sheep’s milk in the US, Manchego cheese is your only chance to enjoy this particular taste.

So, do you have a piece of Manchego at hand? Take a bite, now close your eyes and savor it. Can you taste the Manchega sheep’s milk?

HOW TO BUY MANCHEGO CHEESE IN 3 STEPS

Manchego CheeseYou’ve been reading this blog and want to buy Manchego but are not sure what to look for. Here’s an easy guide in 3 steps.

Step 1. Know how Manchego looks like.

Manchego, as any product with such a long history behind it, has a very recognizable appearance. It comes in big wheels of about 6 to 7 pounds – a delicious exercise regime could be buying two wheels and carrying one in each hand! The indedible rind shows a traditional basketweave pattern. The top and bottom are also pressed with patterns and divided by lines into four equal parts. Very recognizable, isn’t it?

Step 2. Make sure it’s Manchego.

With such a recognizable appearance, many people forget to look for a proof of authenticity. Note that patterns and sizes are easy to copy and so the market is full of fakes. Beware and always make sure you’re buying the real stuff and not a “Manchego-style” cheese that will set you up for a disappointment. There are a few tips (see previous posts) but, if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to make a fuss at the shop, just look at the back of the wheel. There you should find an official D.O. tab labeling it Manchego. Without that, the cheese is a fake!

Step 3. Choose your Manchego type.

Nowadays there are many types of Manchego (real Manchego) available in US stores. First of all, since Manchego can be aged from 2 months to up to 2 years, there’s a wide repertoire of aging times and therefore tasting notes. Second of all, there are dozens of certified cheesemongers producing Manchego cheese, each of them adding his personal touch to the final product. Finally, being such a versatile cheese, Manchego can be used in many recipes so knowing how you’re planning to eat the cheese could also guide your decision.

As you see, the possibilities are endless so have fun, try them all and be ingenious!