Cheese made in the La Mancha region is known as Manchego cheese. It’s derived from the milk of Manchego sheep and has a minimum ageing period of 60 days. One of our cheeses uses pasteurized sheep’s milk, the other, more traditional version is with unpasteurized milk. The animals come from farms with a Designation of Origin seal. The cheeses are classified as semi-cured (up to six months) and cured (more than six months). The longer the cheese is aged the firmer and drier its texture and the more intense its flavor. Manchego cheese is the fruit of a tough, extreme climate favorable to a rural vegetation grazed upon by an ancient and odd species of sheep. They’re under strict health and morphological control. The resulting cheese is unique in all the world. It can only be produced within its officially recognized geographical area, which includes parts of the the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Toledo and Cuenca. The milk must come from Manchegan sheep and be free of any medicines or impurities. The cheese’s rind is thick, pale yellow or blackish green in color if the mold that grows during the ageing process isn’t cleaned off. The rinds bear the markings of the mold on the sides. The cheese itself is firm and compact, varying in color from white to marbled yellow. At times there are small, randomly spaced holes. To spot a true Manchego cheese can be hard: The manufacturer’s label must state it clearly, and it must bear the European logo. It also has a number on the backside of the label, and stamped into the rind itself: “D.O.P. QUESO MANCHEGO” along with a series of five numbers and two or three letters.