La Gruta Membrillo Casera Quince Paste
Membrillo is a classic Spanish jelly/paste made from quince, a tart Mediterranean fruit. Dense, solid and sugary it is easily cut with a knife and is the perfect pairing for Manchego or another hard Spanish cheese.
Producer: La Gruta Del Sol
Producer: La Gruta Del Sol
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Manchego 14 months
If you recall one of Spain’s famous icons Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha, then it may not surprise you that Spain’s most popular cheese, Manchego , is also from the central plains of La Mancha. Made from sheep’s milk, this cheese can be enjoyed at several stages of ripening. An aged, raw-milk Manchego is the quintessential Spanish sheep’s milk cheese.
Origin: Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
Milk: Raw or Past. Sheep Rennet Type: Animal Age: 14 months
Look: distinctive criss-cross pattern on the rind points to the traditional use of esparto grass belts to shape fresh curd.
Feel: firm, slightly oily on the surface at room temperature
Smell: sweet and sheepy
Taste: after a year of aging it becomes sharp and nutty with hints of caramel
Pairs well with: Traditionally paired with Rioja or Tempranillo blends
Tastes good with: Marcona Almonds, Quince Paste, Dried Figs, Chorizo, Olives
is produced in the region of Galicia in northwestern Spain, and received European DOP recognition in 1996. Tetilla actually means "little breast" in Spanish, referring the the cheese's unique cone shape which comes from hanging in muslin bags during the aging process. Traditionally, the milk used in the production of this cheese is from the rubia gallega cow (the "Blonde Galician"). This breed produces small amounts of milk compared to other breeds and is known for its superior quality. Whole milk is used to make Tetilla, and each batch usually combines milk from several consecutive milkings. The cheese is aged, and the texture ranges from soft to firmer (semi-cured), depending on how long it's aged; while Galicians like this cheese young (in the 10-30 days aging range), it is sent to the US about a week after curing to ensure it travels well, meaning it arrives in stores at around 60 days or more. The result may not be what the Galicians would prefer, but it actually makes for a more interesting, well-flavored cheese, and is considered by most to be at it's best when it reaches around two months.
Origin: Galicia, Spain
Milk: Pasteurized Cow Rennet Type: Animal Age: 10-30 days, 60+ days by arrival in the US
Look: Small, distinct cone shape, natural pale yellow rind, creamy ivory interior with a scattering of air pockets
Feel: Soft, creamy, smooth, spreadable
Taste: Bitter, buttery, mild, tangy
Pairs well with: Dry, full-bodied wine, sherry, young whites, manzanilla and especially the Galician whites - albariño or ribeiro
Tastes good with: Quince paste, fruit, crackers, fresh bread. Try it thinly sliced along with some serrano or chorizo, or on bread with roasted vegetables or artichoke hearts in oil. It is an excellent cheese for recipes calling for a cheese stuffing or a melted cheese coating.
Recipe: Padrón Peppers Stuffed with Tetilla Cheese