Title

The Treasure of La Mancha

Topic

Manchego

Region

Castille-La-Mancha

English Article

 

The Treasure of La Mancha

Let me tell you of a happy coincidence that led my family find one of the very finest Manchego cheeses in Spain. A couple of years ago, our sons Tim and Jonathan, had finished visiting small producers in the south of Spain, and decided to return to Madrid via Extremadura, along the Portuguese border.

After driving several hours, they approached Trujillo, one of our favorite towns. They had driven for several hours, it was now late in the afternoon, and it seemed to be a good place to stretch their legs.  For as long as people can remember, a cheese competition has taken place in Trujillo's Plaza Mayor, surrounded by ancient, splendid stone buildings. There are cheeses from rural producers all over Spain: local ones such as the fabled Torta del Casar with its rich creamy interior, and even some cheese from as far away as Galicia, Catalunya or the Balearic Island of Minorca. From all over Spain, producers are drawn to Trujillo because of the reputation of this historic fair – even people bringing Manchego cheese from distant La Mancha. See full english article...

Spanish Article

 

The Treasure of La Mancha

Permitidme que en esta ocasión os cuente el caso de una feliz coincidencia que llevó a mi familia toparse con uno de los mejores quesos Manchegos de España. Hace un par de años, nuestros hijos Tim y Jonathan habían acabado su visita a unos pequeños productores del sur de España y decidieron regresar a Madrid pasando por Extremadura, región limítrofe con Portugal.

Tras unas horas de coche, llegaron a Trujillo, uno de nuestros pueblos preferidos. Habían conducido durante varias horas, ya estaba bien entrada la tarde y parecía un buen lugar para estirar las piernas.  Desde tiempos inmemoriales se ha celebrado en la Plaza Mayor de Trujillo, que se encuentra rodeada de antiguos y espléndidos edificios de piedra, un concurso de quesos. Se pueden encontrar quesos de productores de zonas rurales de toda España, locales como la renombrada Torta del Casar, espesa y cremosa en su interior, e incluso algunos quesos de zonas más alejadas como Galicia, Cataluña o la isla balear de Menorca.  Los productores de toda España se sienten atraídos por la reputación de la histórica feria de Trujillo, incluida gente que trae su queso Manchego desde allá en La Mancha. See full spanish article...

Discussion Questions

 

  1. Where is Extremadura on the map of Spain? Can you locate Trujillo?
  2. From Trujillo as a center point, draw straight lines to the origins of the cheeses brought for judging at the fair: Galicia, Catalunya, La Mancha
  3. What makes a true Manchego Cheese?
  4. Describe the climate conditions and topography of La Mancha. How does it compare to where you live?
  5. Don notes that the Manchego sheep were domesticated, or selectively bred by man for particular features. What are two characteristics of the sheep of La Mancha? Why are both important?
  6. How long is the milk from the sheep aged?
  7. How is it that brothers, Tim and Jonathan, came to discover the cheese from the Villajos brothers of Porzuna?

Extension Activity

Have your own cheese fair, invite your classmates to judge the cheeses and rate them according to various factors (like texture, taste, smell, appearance). Which cheese is the winner?

Links (will open the LaTienda.com site in a new window)