Manchego cheese is a semi-soft cheese that originated in Spain, and it has a very rich flavor. As with many other cheeses, you can freeze Manchego cheese, but keep in mind that it may be a little grainy when you defrost it. You should also defrost it in your fridge.
What Is Manchego Cheese?
Manchego cheese is made in the La Mancha region of Spain from sheep’s milk—more specifically, the sheep of a breed called the Manchega. It is firm and compact and has a nice buttery flavor, and the color can vary from white to a light-yellow color. Its inedible rind is usually a brownish-beige color, and it has a creamy flavor with a slight aftertaste, which is normal for cheeses made out of sheep’s milk. This type of cheese can be served with olives or even on a sandwich as a replacement for cheddar cheese.
Since Manchego cheese is semi-soft, it doesn’t freeze as well as soft cheeses like mozzarella, yet it freezes better than hard and semi-hard cheeses such as Swiss, bleu, and cheddar cheese. To store Manchego cheese, always refrigerate it at a temperature of 5–10 degrees Fahrenheit. If your fridge has a drawer made specifically for cheese, keep it in there at all times. If it doesn’t, try to store the cheese on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator.
How Long Does Manchego Cheese Last in the Fridge?
You can keep Manchego cheese in your refrigerator for up to three days. After that, it is recommended that you rub some olive oil on it (so that it doesn’t dry out) and place it in your freezer.
How Do You Freeze Manchego Cheese?
To avoid the cheese getting freezer burn, you have to freeze it the right way. The National Dairy Council recommends either grating the cheese or cutting it into blocks of no bigger than half a pound. Place plastic wrap around each block, then wrap it again with aluminum foil, making sure it is tight so that no air gets to it. Next, put the cheese in an airtight freezer bag and keep it in the freezer for no longer than six months. When you’re ready to take it out of the freezer, place it in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw for 24–48 hours.
You’ll notice that some cheeses, including Manchego cheese, have a little bit of a crumbly texture after they are thawed out and ready to eat. In most cases, this shouldn’t change the taste of the cheese, but it’s something you should be aware of if you’re going to put any type of cheese in the freezer for a while. As long as the cheese is wrapped tightly and kept in the freezer for no longer than six months, it should taste delicious once it’s thawed out.