Tip #1:Include a variety of flavors and textures.
Cheeses generally fit into a few main categories: aged, soft, firm, and blue. Or you can select cheeses by type of milk used to make them: cow, sheep, goat, or a blend. Regardless of the cheeses you select, it is always a good idea to include one more familiar cheese, like Manchego, but your choices are bounded only by your creativity and of course availability.
Spanish Cheeses by Category
- Aged: Montelarreina, Idiazabal, Rosemary Sheep’s Milk
- Soft: Camerano Semi Cured Goat, Torta del Casar, Monte Enebro
- Firm: Organic Raw Goat, 12 Month Manchego
- Blue: Covadonga, Cabrales, Valdeon
Cow: Mahon, Tetilla, La Peral
- Sheep: Manchego, Idiazabal, Montelarreina, Rosemary Sheep’s Milk, Olive Manchego, Torta del Casar
- Goat: Camerano, Garrotxa, Wine Goat, Organic Raw Goat, San Mateu Catalonian Goat
Tip #3: Offer jarred sauces or vegetables as an easy accompaniment. Quince paste, or membrillo is a perfect sweet accompaniment to a salty and firm cheese like Manchego or Montelarreina. Piquillo peppers have a sweet, rich flavor that compliments tangy goat cheeses or even blues like Covadonga.
Tip #4: Add a sweet and a salty food. Salty jamon Serrano or jamon Iberico are perfect accompaniments to a combination of cheeses from Spain, as are Marcona almonds, salty Gordal olives and sweet caramelized olives.
What’s on your ideal Spanish cheese plate?