Sunday, March 17, 2013

Manchego's Cousin - Campo de Montalban

As I was working behind the cheese counter today, I happened to be cutting Campo de Montalban which is one of my old favorites... It has probably been well over a year since the last time I tasted this yummy cheese and when I tasted it today, I was reminded why I love this cheese so much!

Cheese: Campo de Montalban
Producer: Quesos Corcuera
Location: Castilla La Mancha, Spain
Milk: Pasteurized cow, sheep and goat's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

Originally this cheese was considered Manchego, but when the AOC standards for Manchego changed to be 100% sheeps milk, the Campo de Montalban was created. This cheese has 40% sheep's milk, 40% goat's milk and 20% cow's milk. It is aged for 3 months and really has a great flavor for such a young cheese.

When you first taste the cheese, you definitely get the nutty, creaminess of the sheep's milk followed by even more lactic creaminess of the cow's milk. It's at the very end that you get that slight tang of the goat - but don't worry, it's not over the top goaty. I would recommend this cheese to anyone who loves Manchego and is looking for something a little different and with a bit more complexity. The Campo is also very versatile when it comes to pairings, but I often find myself reaching for nuts or fruit spreads such as Membrillo (quice paste).

Keep this cheese in mind tonight for your cheese plates... it may not be an Irish cheese, but it does have a greenish rind so with a little stretch of the imagination it can be a perfect addition to your St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Be safe everyone! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!

p.s. I have chosen a winner for the Cheese for Dummies giveaway.. Her name is Noelle and her idea was to use this Parmigiano Reggiano as a smart, healthy snack to help keep her "bikini lean" year round... Congratulations Noelle!