Although I live on a Portuguese island, and Portugal (mainland Portugal, not my island) borders Spain, it is very hard to find Spanish food products here. For instance, I've been looking for Manchego cheese for the past year, at least, and they only just got it in right around Christmas time. It probably has something to do with long-ago rivalries between the two countries. I mean, the main grocery stores here (where I'm looking for these Spanish products) are even Spanish-owned! Just pure crazyness. (For the record, I do buy, and enjoy, many Portuguese food products as well! I used to live in Spain and would enjoy some Manchego and Spanish tuna once in a while.... that's all.)
Manchego is a very common and popular cheese in Spain. It's a sheep's milk cheese, only made in a certain region of Spain (La Mancha). The sharpness level varies, and I've tasted everything from very mild to so sharp, I could hardly stand it. The variety I purchased over here was pretty mild. It shredded easily in my food processor, like a nice block of parmesan.
We had already eaten our fill of the Manchego plain with crackers, and I needed to use the rest before it went bad, so I made some garlic bread on a baguette and threw the rest of the Manchego (shredded) on top and melted it. It made a nice, flavorful bread. The whole family loved it and was fighting over the last pieces!
Manchego Garlic Bread
by What A Dish!
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
salt, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
fresh or dried parsley
1-2 cups shredded Manchego cheese