Name: Manchego (mon-CHAY-goh).

Milk: Sheep, raw or pasteurized.

Place of origin: La Mancha, Spain.

Age: Six months.

Texture: Semi-firm.

Rind: Plastic (inedible).

Rennet: Traditional.

Description: Nutty and salty with a slight tanginess that is offset by a round sweetness on the swallow.

Serving suggestion: For a traditional approach, cut into thin triangles and serve alongside membrillo (quince paste), or grate over cooked pasta, salads, and nachos.

Beverage recommendation: Full-bodied red wines are delicious with this cheese, but because southwestern Spain is the sherry-producing center of the world, pairing Manchego with a medium-dry sherry like an amontillado creates a truly traditional experience.

How long will it keep? No more than three weeks.

—Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic