Manchego cheese is one of the most popular in our gastronomy, and among aged cheeses in general, known for its flavor beyond our borders. It is awarded every year at the World Cheese Awards, the most important cheese competition in the world, and knowing how to preserve Manchego cheese is essential to enjoy it without fear of it going bad. If you want to discover how to do it properly.
At Enrique Tomás, we will teach you all the tricks!
How to Preserve Manchego Cheese: Whole or in Wedges
The first thing to consider is that when we talk about food preservation, we often automatically think of freezing; however, this process is not always necessary. In the case of dairy products, it's important to note that there are some cheeses that can be frozen and others that cannot, depending on the type you have at home.Manchego cheese is one that can withstand freezing temperatures, but this can affect its texture and taste. There's no need to freeze it or vacuum-seal it because it can be better preserved than others like low-salt cheeses, less aged cheeses, or soft cheeses due to its intermediate moisture and fat content. However, this doesn't mean you can store it in any way. At Enrique Tomás, we will explain other alternatives that will allow you to keep your product in good condition for up to two months, as long as the expiration date is not near:
- If you have a whole cheese wheel, you can do two things: either wrap it in wax paper or transparent plastic wrap and store it in a cool, dark pantry, or place it in the refrigerator. In both cases, the important thing is that the room temperature is between 5 and 10°C with humidity between 85% and 90%, as these are the conditions Manchego cheese needs. If you're going to store it in the refrigerator, keep in mind that it's best to place it on the lower shelf or even in the fruit and vegetable drawers.
- On the other hand, if you've already started your cheese wheel and have it in wedges, you should know that in this case, it can also be stored in the refrigerator, but never leave it in the pantry. Since you've already removed the rind from the Manchego, your product won't be protected from heat and could become soft.
The best thing to do if you've bought it vacuum-sealed and don't want to open it is to store it as is in the refrigerator. However, if you've already opened it, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You don't need to cover the entire cheese with the latter; just covering the cut part will be enough. Additionally, you have a third option: cheese keepers. These containers have a wedge shape and a hermetic seal to prevent oxygen from coming into contact with your piece.
Furthermore, if your Manchego cheese develops mold, you don't need to worry. The cheese continues its maturation process, and it's common for these bacteria to develop. However, this doesn't mean you have to throw it away.
Just cut off that piece and enjoy the rest!
How to Preserve Manchego Cheese in Oil
There's another method you can opt for: preservation in oil. To do this, all you have to do is take a glass, stainless steel, or clay jar and place the cheese inside. At Enrique Tomás, we recommend cutting it into cubes, but it's up to you.
Once you've placed it inside the container, cover it with extra virgin olive oil, seal it well, and store it in a place where the temperature does not exceed 20°C. After two or three months, it will be ready, and there's no need to rush to consume it because it keeps very well!
Therefore, now that you know how to preserve Manchego cheese, don't forget to do it properly to enjoy it without it drying out. Store it correctly and take it out of the refrigerator about thirty minutes before serving, it will be perfect!