March 19, 2012 - Fearlessly Archived - Still a fun read, price & availability may have changed.
Ah, tapas – trysting with friends, taking small bites of food and sipping on your favorite aperitif… now there’s a culinary custom we are glad has carried over across cultures. So glad, in fact, that we’ve crafted Trader Joe’s Spanish Cheese Tapas Sampler to encourage the tasty tradition.
This cut-and-ready triad of typical Spanish Cheeses falls into the tapas cosas para picar (things to nibble) category. It showcases Iberico, a firm cheese that combines cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk. The blend of milks allows it to obtain the grassy, herbaceous flavors of the goat and sheep’s milk while maintaining the smoothness of cow’s milk.
Also featured is Cabra al Vino, a semi-firm pasteurized goat’s milk cheese that hails from Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Cured for 48-72 hours in Spanish red wine, the rind absorbs a lovely violet hue while the paste remains nearly pure white and smooth, with a delicate grapey flavor and gentle, pliable texture.
And last, but certainly not least, Spain’s famed cheese from La Mancha, Manchego. Aged for nine months, this sheep’s milk cheese has a firm, buttery texture with a creamy, slightly piquant taste.
These three distinguished Spanish Cheeses – four triangular slices of each – come in a 5.29 ounce, set-to-tapeo package for just $3.99. Arrange them on a tray with olives, Marcona almonds, figs and slices of ham and get an epicurean engagement started.
Culinary Curiosity: Tapas are similar in format to entremeses (appetizers). In fact, they can often feature the same food. They are, however, completely different eating experiences. Hey, as long as there is good cheese...