ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Spanish Legacy of Food: The Romans and the Cheese

Updated on March 12, 2019

Cheese is the most specialised and developed by-product of milk and its discovery has been ascribed as a fortunate accident that occurred many thousand years ago. Camel and horse riding nomads discovered cheese when milk they were carrying became coagulated and henceforth the history of cheese began.

Its birth in Spain is mainly credited to the Romans, who came, saw, and left behind the legacy of sophisticated cheese making. It is part of a staple diet for many Europeans and the Spanish have evolved this Roman legacy into an art form.

Artisan cheese making is produced throughout many different regions of Spain and it is mainly produced using cow, sheep and goat's milk. it is then made simply delicious by using three major techniques: storage, process and maturation.

"Artisan cheeses are made predominantly by small producers employing traditional methods using milk from their own herd."
"Artisan cheeses are made predominantly by small producers employing traditional methods using milk from their own herd." | Source
Cow
Sheep
Goat
Lower in total and saturated fat
Easier for the body to digest
Easier for the body to digest
Greater levels of vitamin B12 and folate
Some potential anti-carcinogenic properties
Due to its similarity to human milk, less likely to trigger an allergic reaction
Contains more total protein
Highest total of combined fat and protein
Contains more calcium and magnesium

Mahon Cheese

Mahon Cheese is made exclusively from cow's milk and is named after the port on the island of Menorca. The cattle here are bred to yield a high volume of milk which is used to make dairy products such as Mahon Cheese.

Two types of Mahon Cheese are made here, artesano and aged.

Young Mahon is less than three months old and to maintain its freshness needs to be wrapped airtight and refrigerated.

Aged Mahon is matured for longer. This makes it harden with age and is drier in texture and saltier than its junior counterpart .

Mahon is a versatile cheese and so therefore can be a wonderful cooking compliment with dishes containing pasta, potato, rice and vegetables.

As for a tipple, try beer with Young Mahon, and Rioja Reserva with the Aged Mahon.

The Artisan Craft of Mahon Cheese

Manchego Cheese

Manchego is made using milk from sheep that wander the region of La Mancha. La Mancha is a region that almost encompasses Madrid in the centre of Spain. The sheep graze on the hunting grounds of the fictitious famous knight errant, Don Quixote, who fought windmills, in the book written by Cervantes.

Manchego Cheese is collected and processed from the sheep using traditional artisan methods and matured in local caves from 60 days to 2 years.

A natural rind is formed during the maturation process. The mould that is used to shape the cheese is embossed with a pattern that replicates the ancient outline of the esparto grass baskets they were once made in.

The rind is then washed, coated in paraffin, then soaked in olive oil. This method makes the rind inedible but if the rind is left to the last, it will preserve and keep the cheese at its best.

To complete the PDO (DenominaciĆ³n de Origen Protegida) which indicates the quality and approval of the cheese regulating council - it then depicts the artwork of the aforesaid Don Quixote.

Manchego Cheese grates well so can be used to adorn food It can be eaten on its own, or with Spanish snacks called Tapas.

Official Manchego Cheese depicting Don Quixote artwork
Official Manchego Cheese depicting Don Quixote artwork

Garrotxa Cheese

Garrotxa Cheese is made from pasteurised goat's milk and nearly became extinct in the early 1980's. Fortunately local goat farmers worked together to restore its destiny and now its reputation is becoming renowned. The cheese is named after the county where it is produced in Catalonia, North Eastern Spain.

The goats which are from a Murciana breed graze a volcanic landscape,. Then their milk is collected and processed using artisan methods. Finally, it is matured in nearby caves to give it its distinctive flavour.

Garrotxa cheese is semi-soft and graces the Spanish table. it works well with bread, nuts and fruit but can also be served as a desert cheese.

A local white wine, such as Catalan Priorat or a fino or dry Spanish Sherry pairs well with Garrotxa Cheese.

Delicious Spanish Cheeses
Delicious Spanish Cheeses

There are many more delicious Spanish Cheeses than these tasters using an example from each of the the most popular animal milks. Investigate today and enjoy this integral part of the Spanish platter.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 

      8 years ago from Nigeria

      Great article which is evenly shared.

    • DaveysRecipeRead profile image

      DaveysRecipeRead 

      8 years ago

      Wow! Now that's what I call research. Excellent work!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Maria Giunta 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Welcome to hubpages The Blagsmith and we look forward to your tips on travelling to Spain. If you'd like more info about hubbing visit the learning centre for tips and ideas. Enjoy being a part of this great writing community, cheers Marie, member of hubgreeters team.

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      I agree with IzzyM - Terrific job! We love our cheese here at home! The sharper the better.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 

      9 years ago from UK

      Nice job! You've taught me a lot about Spanish cheese that I really didn't know, so thanks!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)