I had the pleasure of having my college roommate, Adrienne, visit this weekend with her son who is the same age as my oldest. She lives in the Bay Area and with busy work lives and raising kids, it’s hard to get together as often as we’d like. So this was a much anticipated visit which was as much fun for our kids as it was for us. Naturally, I made a cheese plate to honor the occasion. This is a Spanish-themed cheese plate inspired by Adrienne’s study abroad experience in Spain. 

The first cheese is a Manchego aged 12+ months. This is your most famous and quintessential Spanish cheese. It’s a sheep’s milk cheese from La Mancha, Spain. The taste is sweet and nutty. It has a pleasant texture that is crumbly on the plate and creamy on the palate. This is a must on any Spanish cheese plate.  

The second cheese is Mahón Authentique, which is an aged, cow’s milk cheese from Minorca. It is fruity, sweet, and salty. Because it is an aged Mahón, the texture is firm and has a nice bite with a granular mouthfeel. 

The last cheese is Spain’s famous blue, Cabrales. This is an assertive cheese made from cow’s milk, though goat and sheep’s milk are also sometimes added. It’s aged in limestone caves where the cheese develops sharp and acidic flavor notes. This is a strong cheese that lingers on the palate, so give it a try if you’re a lover of blues. 

Accompaniments 

This plate was paired with traditional Spanish items, including tortas, olives, grapes, marcona almonds, and membrillo. Membrillo is a quince paste that is very sweet and firm. It is a necessary pairing for Spanish cheese, especially Manchego. 

There are also two types of charcuterie on the plate. The first is Jamón Iberico from ARC. This was an exquisite meat I purchased at Vancouver’s Cheese and Meat Festival. The other charcuterie was a local chorizo made in the Spanish style. 

What Made the Plate?

  1. Manchego 12+
  2. Mahón Authentique
  3. Cabrales
  4. Jamón Iberico
  5. Chorizo
  6. Membrillo
  7. Marcona almonds
  8. Tortas
  9. Olives
  10. Grapes
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