Manchego is a cheese made from sheep’s milk, originating from La Mancha, Spain.
As a gourmet cheese, it can be quite pricey, so it is important to know how long it can last and whether it will go bad.
The shelf life of Manchego cheese is affected by several factors, including the type of cheese and the storage environment. Manchego cheese can last up to 6 months in the refrigerator when stored properly, and it can last even longer when vacuum-sealed and frozen.
What is Manchego Cheese?
Manchego cheese is a famous gourmet cheese originating from La Mancha, Spain. It is made from sheep’s milk, and its texture ranges from soft and crumbly to hard and mature, depending on how long it is aged.
Manchego cheese is known for its distinctive flavor, which is buttery and nutty with subtle hints of tanginess. This cheese is often used in cooking, as well as enjoyed on its own as a snack or appetizer. Manchego cheese pairs well with wine and is commonly used in Spanish cuisine.
How Long Does Manchego Cheese Last?
The shelf life of Manchego cheese is influenced by several factors, including the type of cheese, storage environment, and how well the cheese is wrapped. In general, it can last up to 6 months in the refrigerator when stored correctly.
Unopened Manchego Cheese
If Manchego cheese is unopened, it can last for months on end. The packaging will indicate the expiration date, and if stored in the fridge under appropriate conditions, it can last beyond the date specified on the packaging.
Due to the moderately high fat content of Manchego cheese, when stored in the fridge, it can last for as long as 6 months, even without preservatives.
Opened Manchego Cheese
If Manchego cheese is opened, it is exposed to air and can go bad more quickly. The shelf life of opened Manchego cheese depends on how well it is wrapped and stored.
When Manchego cheese is opened, it is best to wrap it tightly with wax paper or foil before storing it in the refrigerator. By doing so, the cheese can last for several weeks to a few months, providing that it is used before signs of spoilage occur.
Signs of Spoilage
Manchego cheese can spoil like other cheeses, and it is essential to know how to tell if it has gone bad.
Some noticeable signs of spoilage include a sour smell, mold, or discoloration. Check the cheese to see if there is any white or green patch growing on the surface. If you smell something decaying, it is past its prime and should be thrown out. Avoid eating any cheese that has mold on it – a rule that applies to most cheeses.
How to Store Manchego Cheese Properly
Storing manchego cheese is easy, requiring some attention to detail to ensure it stays fresh longer. A combination of factors that include moisture, temperature, and exposure to air can make the cheese go bad in no time.
Manchego cheese should be stored in the fridge, where the temperature is between 34 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the cheese in its original packaging, tightly wrapped with wax paper or plastic wrap. The wrapping should cover the cheese entirely to prevent it from drying out and absorbing foreign odors.
Avoid wrapping cheese tightly with plastic wrap
Plastic wrap should not be wrapped too tightly, as it compresses the cheese, trapping gasses and causing it to spoil faster. Instead, use wax paper or parchment paper to protect it and keep it fresh.
Vacuum-sealed packaging is an excellent option to preserve the longevity of manchego cheese.
It will keep air and moisture out, keeping the cheese fresh for up to six months or a year. Keep vacuum-sealed cheese in the refrigerator. If it needs to be stored for a more extended period, it can be frozen.
Manchego cheese can be frozen to extend its shelf life, but it is best to do so only if it is vacuum-sealed or wrapped in aluminum foil.
Wrap the cheese tightly with foil or plastic wrap and date the packaging. Freeze for about six months for the best results. When you remove the cheese from the freezer, let it thaw in the fridge first before eating it.
Manchego cheese is a delicious and well-loved cheese made from sheep’s milk. It can last up to 6 months when stored correctly in the refrigerator. By avoiding exposure to moisture, air, and temperature changes, this gourmet cheese can last longer and retain its distinctive buttery and nutty flavor.
When a cheese is past its prime, signs of spoilage include a sour smell, mold, or discoloration. Avoid eating such cheese, which can cause food poisoning or other health issues. To relish the cheese’s flavor for an extended duration, stick to the best practices of wrapping, storing, and freezing.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.