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Mexico and Spain will have to share the name “Manchego cheese”

25 mayo, 2021

For a few months, the DO Queso Manchego and México, had a commercial lawsuit that related to the right to use this denomination for a variety of Mexican cheese made with cow’s milk and a texture similar to butter. Finally, Mexico and Spain will have to share the name “Queso Manchego” after reaching an agreement with the European Union with the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and this American country.

Since the signing of the treaty, Spanish Manchego cheese will have the protection of being a PGI or protected geographical indication, which will be recognized in Mexico, although simultaneously, the cheese called manchego produced in Mexico may continue to use that name in that country, as required by the National Chamber of Milk Industry (CANILEC), which is the employer of the dairy sector in the North American country.

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Spanish Manchego Cheese vs Mexican Manchego Cheese

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One product has nothing to do with another. While Our Manchego cheese is made with La Mancha sheep’s milk, and it is a pressed paste cheese, with a minimum maturation of 30 days, for cheeses weighing less than 1.5 kg, and 60 days, for the rest of the formats, and with a maximum maturation of 2 years, the Mexican Manchego cheese is a soft, creamy and off-white cheese made with cow’s milk.

Maybe that difference between one and the other and consequently, the impossibility of confusing them by consumers, has been the reason that Mexicans have been allowed to maintain their denomination, since traditionally in the Aztec country this buttery cheese is called Manchego cheese and not the cured cheese of Spanish origin.

Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for AgricultureHe pointed out that “The specific labeling will ensure that there is no confusion for consumers about the origin or composition of the product. Any reference to the original Spanish product will not be allowed.”

Also, the cheese manchego Mexican You will not be able to use any type of symbol or flag that could confuse the consumer and make you think that when you buy the Mexican manchego you are buying a cheese of Spanish origin.

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According to the DO Queso Manchego de España, the organoleptic characteristics of Manchego cheese are the following:

a) Bark:

  • Consistency: Hard, free of parasites.
  • Colour: Pale yellow or greenish-blackish when the surface of the molds developed during ripening is not cleaned.
  • Appearance: Presence of the impressions of the pleitas type molds on the lateral surface and flower type on the flat faces.
El Trigal Manchego Cheese 3506 1280

b) Pasta:

  • Consistency: Firm and compact.
  • Colour: Variable from white to ivory-yellowish.
  • Odor: Lactic, intense and persistent acidification that evolves to spicy nuances in the most cured ones with a long overall persistence.
  • Taste: Slightly acidic, strong and tasty that becomes spicy in highly aged cheeses. Pleasant and peculiar aftertaste conferred by La Mancha sheep’s milk.
  • Appearance: Presence of unevenly distributed small eyes, sometimes lacking them.
  • Texture: Low elasticity, with a buttery and somewhat mealy sensation, which can be grainy in the very ripe ones.

The DO of Manchego Cheese has not published at this time any statement on the subject but we will be pending in case it is necessary to update this article.

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Images | Heraldo Mexicano, Pixabay and DO Queso Manchego