Don Bernardo® “Viejo” – Aged over 6 months
The Quintessential Sheep’s Milk Cheese from Spain
Don Bernardo® Manchego is crafted from 100% pasteurized sheep’s milk in La Mancha, the high plateau region of central Spain immortalized in Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
Don Bernardo® Manchego is a semi-firm aged cheese with a firm and dry, ivory to butter colored interior with irregularly spaced small eyelets. Subtle herbal notes and hints of nuts with an intense peppery body characterize its complex, yet warm, rustic flavor. The rind has a distinctive basket weave pattern on the sides inspired by the traditional esparto grass used for the molds.
Spain’s most popular cheese, Manchego has graced Spanish tables for generation after generation. Its rich taste is matched by a rich history that can be traced to ancient times. Archaeological remains suggest that the habitants of La Mancha have enjoyed Manchego since the Bronze Age, long before Cervantes’ references to the cheese appeared in his masterpiece of 605 A.D.
While you are unlikely to come across any errant knights in modern day La Mancha, you will find the same rugged, arid landscape dotted with castles and windmills described by Cervantes. Most importantly for cheese lovers , you will still encounter shepherds herding the Manchega breed of sheep whose milk gives Manchego its distinctive character.
The Manchega are a curious, ancient breed uniquely adapted to the extreme continental climate of La Mancha with its cold winters, long summers, and scarce rainfall. They graze on the tough wild plants and herbs favored by the harsh climate, giving Manchego a taste and aroma different from any other cheese.
Don Bernardo® remains as loyal to the great tradition of authentic Manchego cheese making as the unforgettable squire, Sancho Panza, is to his master, Don Quixote. Certified as a genuine Manchego with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, Don Bernardo® is made exclusively from Manchega sheep’s milk within the designated PDO area of La Mancha following traditional manufacturing methods. While most Manchego are aged for a minimum of two months Our Don Bernardo Manchego is a “Viejo”, meaning it is aged for six to nine months allowing a more complex, rich and lingering flavor.
Despite whispers of tilting at windmills, Don Bernardo’s® confidence that one taste is all it takes to fall in love with Manchego has been vindicated by the cheese’s growing worldwide popularity.
When purchasing Manchego, check for the PDO label to be sure you are getting an authentic Manchego cheese.
Better yet, look for the Don Bernardo® label and treat your palate to the experience of the genuine Cheese of La Mancha.