Campo de Montalban
February 26, 2010
Before I review this Spanish mixed-milk cheese, I have to step out and make a few comments about The Lady… now I don’t mean to be rude (OK, maybe just a tad rude)…but after living with me for five human years (about 35 in feline years) you’d think she’d realize that when I want something… mainly food… I’m not going to give up until she does what I want. Felines are far more patient and persistent than the humankinds we own and if we had that opposable thumb thing going for us, we would indeed rule the entire world.
For the past five years, I regularly wake up at 2am and realize I need a snack. At first I work gently at trying to wake The Lady… nudging her eye with my wet, cold nose; sitting on her head; gently applying my paw to her cheek without claws extended… and then with claws extended. You’d think after five years, anyone, including The Lady, would be clever enough to get up, attend to my needs… or whims… and return to her slumber. We’re going to get there eventually, why not just cut to the chase?
Last night, this Kabuki Dance went on for thirty-five minutes before The Lady finally climbed out of bed, using a few choice words, and fed me… sheesh, if she had gotten up immediately when I stuck my nose in her eye, she would have been back to sleep in under five minutes.
I sent a message to The Brain and he replied by casting aspersions on my training techniques…
Now for Campo de Montalban
This Spanish cheese is a combination of cow, sheep and goat milk and until 1985 was known as Manchego. At that time, the Spanish government changed the laws governing cheese and decreed that certain cheeses from the La Mancha region could only be called Manchego if made from sheep milk. I have written about these government designations to control quality in an earlier blog posting.
This cheese looks like Manchego as the molds used for pressing the curd have the same basket weave pattern as Manchego. The rind has an olive green hue whereas Manchego is brown. The texture of the paste is slightly dry with the individual curds still visible like Manchego; but the taste is quite different.
The blend of the three milks is quite pleasant on the palate with a goaty finish. It is slightly salty, nutty and a bit sweet. Manchego was purported to be a favorite of Don Quiote and because he was around before 1985, perhaps this was the Manchego he preferred. The Man really flipped over this cheese; The Lady…not so much… you know The Lady and goat milk cheese (except Cypress Grove’s Midnight Moon, in particular).
And to add it this cheese’s allure: it’s about 30% cheaper than Manchego.
Despite The Lady not being as impressed, I give Campo de Montalban 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: The Man put a little dollop of Dalmatian Fig Spread on his and pronounced (he likes to do that… a lot) it a perfect pairing. And here’s a surprise… most everything you do with Manchego, you can do with Campo de Montalban. The Lady paired this cheese with the new 34° Lemon Zest Crispbread Cracker and said the combo worked quite well. She also paired it with Quince Paste and munched on a few Marcona Almonds… I spread a little Friskies Mariners Catch on mine…divine…
Wine Pairings: Tempranillo or Rioja
Beer Pairing: A Pale Ale would pair well with this cheese.
Source: Cow, Goat and Sheep milks – something for everyone…
The Lady found this Zabar’s (one of The Lady’s favorite NYC delis) video online that includes Campo de Montalban and thought you might enjoy it: