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Spanish cheese & charcuterie platter

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy and quick

Spanish cheese platter ideas

I like to build cheese platters with a variety of Spanish cheeses, Marcona almonds Iberico or Serrano ham, chorizo, Spanish olives, roasted peppers and roasted tomatoes. Or I will go in a sweeter direction, and pair with fresh fruit, honey and a bit of membrillo, a dense fruit pasted made of quince. A Spanish cheese platter makes a great appetizer or can be eaten in lieu of a traditional meal, washed down of course, with a glass or two of Spanish wine.

Some of my favorite Spanish cheeses include:

Valdeon blue cheese

This intense, creamy, bold and spicy blue cheese is one of my favorites. Not for shrinking violets or blue cheese newbies, this cheese is powerful but oh so delicious. Valdeon is made with a blend of goat, cow and sheep's milk and cave-aged. Each wheel is wrapped in sycamore or maple leaves that gives it a very pretty presentation. Serve it with fresh fruit and honey, a crisp white or a medium-bodied red wine or Spanish sherry.

Torta del Cezar or its close Queso de la Serena

These sheep cheeses from the Extremadura region of Eastern Spain and Portugal are large cake-like wheels that must sit for several hours at room temperature before eating. You cut off the top rind and then dip hunks of bread into the gooey center. These cheeses are hard to come by in the U.S., so if you are lucky enough to find one, by all means snap it up and throw a party. Serve with savory accompaniments or drizzle with a little honey and a bit of jam for an extra special treat. I like to pair this wine with a crisp white or a dry red.

Torta de Trujillo

This sheep cheese is made in a similar torta style as Torta del Cezar, except it comes in a mini wheel, just a few inches across. Like its larger torta cousins, slice off the top rind. Allow it to come to room temperature for 4 to 10 hours (no that's not a typo) before serving and dip in.

 

This family-made cheese has a very interesting history. It is made on an estate that has been owned by the same family since 1232. An American CIA agent was stationed in Spain during World War II and eventually met and married the Count of Romanones. Since then, she and her son have dedicated themselves to preserving the estate's cultural heritage, including the manufacturing of this delicious cheese.

Manchego

Manchego has hit the U.S. by storm. It is no surprise as this buttery cheese is hard not to love. Manchego has a distinctive inedible zig-zag rind that is the result of pressing the cheese curds into woven baskets. Manchego is a great example of a Spanish cheese that can go sweet or savory. Serve with honey, jam or membrillo, or savory it up with chorizo, ham and olives.

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Wine pairings

Regional Spanish wines are always a good choice with Spanish cheese, but Cava and Spanish sherry work well too. I would stay away from oaky wines and look for something lighter and crisper that doesn't compete with these complex and gorgeous cheeses.

 

Spanish cheese & charcuterie platter

Prep

Total

Spain is the home of many delicious cheeses and charcuterie. Here are some of our favorite Spanish cheese platter ideas.

Ingredients

  • An assortment of Spanish cheeses such as Manchego, Valdeon, Torta del Cezar, Torta de la Serena, and Torta de Trujillo
  • Iberico ham
  • Serrano ham
  • Chorizo
  • Spanish olives
  • Marcona almonds
  • Roasted peppers
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Honey
  • Membrillo
  • Fruit preserves
  • Crusty bread

Instructions

  1. Lay the cheese out on a platter at least one hour before serving and several hours before serving a torta-style cheese.
  2. Arrange the food pairings around the cheese and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

THIS SERVES WELL WITH

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