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This cheese is made in the “Manchego-style." The Manchego cheese is actually a Spanish cheese, but can only be called a Manchego if it is made in a particular region of Spain. Thus, Randal and Carol's cheese is the Carmen Carrano (the name is a morph of their two names, with an Italian/Spanish type ending to celebrate the roots of their technique and resulting flavor profile). This is their signature cheese, aged a minimum of 6 months for a distinctively sharp, yet still quite mild flavor. It is a little less sharp than the Pecorino (the other cheese listed on the sheep cheese page), and also has a slightly smoother and more buttery texture.
This is a raw milk cheese. As a result, the protein and fat are not denatured in any way from heating. Many eaters tolerate raw cheeses more than pasteurized ones, and if you are sensitive to dairy, you are likely to find that this raw sheep cheese will be benefit to your digestive well-being (several members of the Alderspring family can only eat this kind of cheese without ill effects).
One of the wonderful attributes of this sheep cheese is that it can withstand freezing, particularly with the rapid blast freezing that we expose it to on Alderspring (we acquire it fresh from Randal and Carol after their extensive aging of a minimum of 7 months). As a result, it maintains integrity that we believe is true to the textrue of Manchego, even as frozen, and we can ship it with our other blast frozen protein products.
The simple ingredients: Raw sheep milk, cultures, rennet (an enzyme that curdles milk to make cheese), salt. These cheeses are natamycin free as well. Natamycin is a fungal (mold) inhibitor permitted worldwide in cheeses, and is often incorporated in aged European cheeses.
Note on price: The $11.80 price per block is for a 9 oz wedge of cheese. We will refund you accordingly if your cheese is under 9 oz (most blocks are between 7 and 9 oz, as Randal and Carol cut each block by hand).