Manchego is a Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk. It has a nutty and salty taste, and the flavor sharpens more and more with age. This is definitely a cheese you must try when you get the chance but, until you do, here are some alternatives that can mimic the taste of Manchego.
Substitutes for Manchego cheese are
- Asiago cheese
- Chihuahua cheese
- English Cheddar
- Monterey Jack
- Pecorino Romano
All of these cheeses are great substitutes for when you’re in a hurry, but they all have their own characteristic so make sure you read all about them in the article below.
Manchego Cheese Substitutes
Asiago cheese comes from Veneto, Italy. This cheese is made from whole cow’s milk. Like many others types of cheese, Asiago gets its texture depending on how much the cheese ages.
The fresh variety is known as the Asiago Pressato and has a smooth, buttery texture. The aged Asiago cheese has a crumbly texture and it’s called Asiago D’allevo. Asiago Pressato is made from whole milk, which is matured for a short period of time, but it is considered mild, soft, and fresh cheese.
Asiago d’Allevo is left to mature and dry for a couple of months to a couple of years. Asiago d’Allevo that is matured from 4 to 6 months is called Asiago Mezzano.
The rind of the Asiago cheese has a brown/gray color and It has a milky but sharp taste and a pungent smell.
This cheese can do it all. It is used for melting, grating, and adding a little more taste and saltiness to soups, pasta, gravies, pizza, etc…
No, we are not talking about the small dog breed! Chihuahua is the name of the Mexican state that this cheese originates from. You may also find this cheese under the name Queso Chihuahua.
Chihuahua has a pale-yellow color, and it’s considered to be a semi-soft type of cheese. The cheese taste is very similar to mild Cheddar. As it is semi-soft, this Mexican cheese has excellent melting abilities and it can easily fit in fondues and lovely cheese sauces for nachos or enchiladas.
English Cheddar, or just Cheddar, was first made around the 1100s in the village of Cheddar, England. Cheddar’s color, which can vary from yellow to white, depends on the grass that’s been fed to the cows.
The orange type of Cheddar cheese is usually made with the famous Annatto seeds which are mostly used as food colorants. Cheddar has a mild, buttery flavor and is one of the most popular cheeses for melting.
Monterey Jack is American cheese, specifically from California. This cheese is made from cow’s milk and is very briefly aged just to form a semi-firm structure and a mild, nutty flavor.
The most popular version of Monterey Jack is called Pepper Jack, a pepper-infused cheese that has become a hit in the last 10 years. Other versions of Monterey Jack may include other spices and herbs like lavender, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
Mozzarella is one of the many original Italian cheeses. It’s a typical milk cheese with a gooey and stringy texture. Mozzarella is always the answer to the question ‘’what topping should I put on my pizza’’.
You can never go wrong with this cheese. It’s one of my favorite versatile cheeses that doesn’t change the taste of your food, it just adds to it and blends in right away.
Mozzarella is made from cow’s or water buffalo’s milk. It has a milky taste, and has a semi-soft texture but, it’s still considered to be a soft cheese. It’s a great melting cheese and it can be mixed along with baked dishes, fondue, pizzas, and sandwiches. It also makes a good cheese board cheese.
Muenster is originally a French cheese but today it has been modernized and there are lots of versions of Muenster. The one that’s been popularized the most is the American version.
Muenster is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. It has a pale yellow color and an orange rind thanks to the added amaretto food coloring.
The taste of Muenster cheese can be mild, savory, or sharp, depending on the aging process.
This cheese is very versatile when it comes to combining it with other foods. You can put it as a pizza topping, as a burger topping, and it’s an excellent table cheese.
Parmesan is another Italian cheese that is famously used as the topping for almost every pasta recipe. It is a crumbly, hard, nutty cheese that is suitable for grating it on top of dishes.
Let’s be clear. Not every pre-crated cheese that’s sold in a bag is Parmesan, but lots of manufacturing companies want to trick you into thinking so.
Original Parmigiano Reggiano is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and it’s aged for at least 12 months. It’s almost exclusively sold in Italy.
The quality of the Parmesan cheese depends on the cow’s feeding. The grass that the cows are fed really contributes to the quality of the cheese. Well-fed cows are more likely to produce a soft, but granular texture to the Parmesan.
Originally, the Pecorino Romano is made only from sheep’s milk, but many American varieties are made from the familiar source of milk, cow’s. Pecorino Romano goes way back to Roman times. It is one of the few ancient cheeses that we know of.
Just like Parmesan, this cheese is protected by its country and the European Union Law. So, for a cheese to be called Pecorino Romano, there are strict rules that must be followed for the making process of the cheese.
Again, not every cheese you see is the actual real deal unless you actually read the label and it says so.
The texture and flavor of Pecorino depend on its aging process. A young, fresh version of Pecorino Romano is soft and runny with a mild, buttery taste, and is an excellent melting cheese. The aged one has a hard texture and a strong taste. Aged Pecorino is a great alternative cheese for Manchego.
This is an excellent substitute for Manchego. Zamorano cheese comes from Spain, and it has a unique taste because it’s made from sheep’s milk. Zamorano is similar to Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses as the production is under strict supervision and protected by law.
Original Zamorano is made from a specific 2 types of sheep, Churra or Castilian sheep. The cheese is very crumbly in texture and It has a buttery and nutty taste.
What Is The Flavor Of Manchego Cheese
Manchego has a strong, intense taste and aroma. The texture is crumbly and the taste is nutty and strong as well.
Can You Substitute Manchego For Parmesan
Yes, you can. Parmesan makes a great alternative for Manchego cheese.
Is Manchego Cheese Good For Melting
Even though it has a hard exterior, Manchego cheese is an amazing melting cheese.
Is Manchego Cheese Smelly
Because it’s made from sheep’s milk, Manchego cheese has a unique pungent smell.
Do You Eat The Wax From Manchego Cheese
Manchego cheese’s wax(some may know it as rind)is edible but, make sure you read the label to see if there’s anything that says against it.