If there is a characteristic and exquisitely flavoured cheese in our country it is Manchego. This cheese attained its Designation of Origin in 1991 and it is made solely with milk from sheep of the autochthonous Manchego breed. The production and manufacturing area encompasses municipal districts in the provinces of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Toledo, which in all come together to form the La Mancha region.

It has to be cylindrical in shape, with flat upper and lower faces and its may curve gently outwards. Both faces bear a drawing known as “flor”, made up of symmetrical lines with their corresponding recess which divides the circumference into four parts. This drawing mirrors that left by the wooden boards used as the press base. The side bears a basket-weave drawing which, in the past was left by the esparto grass braid.

A serial-numbered casein tab is placed on the bottom face of each cheese during the moulding and pressing phase of their production. On this tab we can read, “Designation of Origin MANCHEGO”.

Consumer products will have a numbered counterlabel stuck to their commercial label which is issued by the Manchego Cheese Designation of Origin Regulating Council, this assuring that the cheese has passed its quality controls. This is placed in the cheese dairy and always in such a way that avoids it ever being reused.

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