Our oohs and aahs are uncontrollable when we see Campo de Montalban’s chevron-covered exterior. With a herringbone pattern and deep olive tint, the Spanish Campo de Montalban is a striking wheel—it looks like Manchego, but with a little makeover. Its flavor too is all its own; you can expect mild butteriness with notes of nuts and a balanced acidity. Aged for three months, it has a firm texture, but still feels moist and supple in the mouth.
Though the cheese itself has been around for a while, it hasn’t gone by this name for too long: Quesos Corcuera’s Campo de Montalban was considered a Manchego until 1985 when PDO standards for Manchego were changed to mandate 100 percent sheep’s milk. Campo de Montalban, however, is roughly 60 percent cow’s milk, with the remainder being a mix of goat’s and sheep’s milk.
Pairings with a touch of acidity best highlight Campo’s flavor: We love juicy roasted tomatoes, or to go slightly sweeter, a fruit paste like membrillo. It makes an easy swap for Manchego in any recipe. In the wintry months, mix into grits and top with braised short ribs—a glass of medium-bodied red on the side, of course, for the ultimate cold-weather comfort.