This post was sponsored by Mahon-Menorca Cheese. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. #MahonCheese
Introducing Mahon-Menorca Cheese from the Island of Menorca! Find some new taste inspiration – plus wine pairings & tapas!
Cheese – making & tasting – is one of the most delicious forms of art.
The more you search, the more you explore, the more you find. It’s a taste exploration I will never tire of!
I had the recent pleasure of tasting a new cheese – one I was completely unfamiliar with. This is always so exciting to me!
Introducing Mahon-Menorca Cheese. This cheese is ONLY made on the Island of Menorca, the Baleric Islands, Spain. Mahon-Menorca Cheese is a product with Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O). To qualify for a P.D.O, the product must have qualities and characteristics which are essentially due to it’s geographical area of production. It must also be produced, processed and prepared exclusively within that area.
The history of cheese on Menorca dates back to prehistoric times. The process of making Mahon-Menorca Cheese has remained very much unchanged the past thousand years. Fresh milk is used from livestock grazing freely within the landscape of Menorcan countryside. After that the Menorcan wind, humidity and sunlight – together with the human element – give the cheese it’s unmistakable flavor.
There are 3 varieties of Mahon-Menorca Cheese:
Tender : Soft. Yellowish-white in color, with very little developed crust. Soft & creamy. It’s flavor is milky with a slight reminiscence of butter and an acidulous touch.
Semi Cured : Characteristic and unmistakable. The rind is an orange color or brownish-grey if it is a farmhouse cheese. It has a firm texture and is easily sliced and it is a yellowish/ivory colour. It has a variable number of small holes, distributed irregularly. It’s milky taste & flavors are more developed, with slight buttery reminiscences of toasted nuts & dried fruit. It presents a moderately persistent aftertaste.
Cured : A delicacy for cheese lovers. It’s texture is firm and hard, less creamy and in an advanced curing state it breaks & flakes upon being cut. The taste and aroma are very developed, complex and intense with a long persistent aftertaste. Has hints of old wood, tanned leather or a wine cellar.
When tasting new cheeses – I always opt for simplicity first. Cheese with an appropriate wine pairing. I found Spanish Tempranillo and Rioja wines to be a lovely match for all three cheeses.
I found the tender cheese to be a lovely light bite to eat drizzled with local raw honey and paired with wine.
I was inspired by a recipe from Mahon-Menorca Cheese. This tasty little tapa was simple to put together – semi cured cheese, cherry tomatoes and a quick olive tapenade.
As for the Cured Mahon-Menorca Cheese, I enjoyed each glorious nibble of it with a glass of wine. I loved all varieties of Mahon-Menorca Cheese – but the cured was definitely my favorite!
Here’s to all things cheeeeese!
You can find Mahon-Menorca in the USA at Fairway, West Side Market, Gourmet Garage, Saveway, Wholefoods, Kroger, Costco, Central Markets, Central and Town & Country Markets or your local cheesemonger.
Mahon-Menorca Cheese Tapas
- Semi-Cured Mahon-Menorca Cheese 16 cubes
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Herbs De Provence dried
- pinch of salt & pepper
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives
- 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 16 skewers
- Cube cheese, set aside.
- Rinse tomatoes. Slice off just the tip of the top of the tomato - giving you a flat surface.
- In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, Herbs De Provence, salt & pepper. Set aside.
- For the tapenade, crush the olives, olive oil and salt to make a puree. I used a mortal & pestle.
- Assemble. Cube of cheese on the bottom, place a tomato on top. Pierce skewer thru center. Place on serving plate and drizzle any olive oil mixture over tops. Spoon olive tapenade on top of tomatoes.