The term “Denominación de Origen Queso Manchego” (Designation of Origin Manchego Cheese) must appear on the cheese’s label. If it has been made with raw milk, the word “artesano” o “artesanal” (artisan) will also appear.
On the opposite side to the commercial label there is an annulus incrusted in the rind with the words “D.O.P. QUESO MANCHEGO” and a series of five digits and three letters. For a certain time, this plate will coexist with the old one.
Numbered counter label
We will find it stuck to the commercial label, with the “Denominación de Origen” logo.
In the case of small cheeses, or wedges, this back label will feature a blue or green stripe, respectively, in its top right corner.
The label with which the European Union identifies Protected Designations of Origin. It can be found on the commercial label of Manchego cheese.
What to look for in a whole manchego cheese
The external appearance is a lattice and the flat sides have lines dividing the surface into four parts. Natural colour. Depending on how long it is matured for, the tone may vary between ivory-coloured and brown. The rind may be covered with transparent inactive substances.
The commercial label must state that it has been made completely using Manchega sheep milk. The word “Manchego” also appears. Stuck to the commercial label there will also be a back label bearing a serial number. If the cheese weighs less than 1.5kg, this back label will have a blue stripe across the top right corner.
Identification in portions
Check all the above characteristics on a whole cheese of the brand in question. The inside of the cheese must be white to ivory in colour, depending on how long it has matured. The cheese must have a uniform appearance. The cut may be smooth or have small, unevenly distributed ‘eyes’ all over the surface.
If the portion is packaged in plastic film, it must bear a back label with a green stripe in the top right-hand corner. The back of the cheese will show the piece of casein disc corresponding to the portion.