My wife is from La Mancha in Spain (you know, like "The Man of") and one of the joys of that region is Manchego Cheese. Back when we still lived in Spain, her mom used to bring big wheels of it up to Madrid when she came to visit, and we'd lightly wrap it in wax paper and for the next month eat super-thin slices of it of it with salads and crackers and - of course - Jamon Serrano. (Want to make a Spanish friend for life? Tell them how great their regional ham is. No, seriously... they'll love you forever. Sorry, I digress...). I really missed that cheese! I prefer the sheep kind, rather than goat or mixed... just FYI.
Yeah, you can pick up plastic wrapped chunks of Manchego in some specialty stores or sometimes in Safeway (in the foreign cheeses display), but it's not really the same. I had been meaning to stop by a Spanish restaurant/store here in Menlo Park named (funnily enough) Iberia and see what cheeses and other Spanish foods they had, but I kept on forgetting until today. Finally I remembered and stopped over there on the way up to Cheeky Monkey Toys on Santa Cruz Ave to get Alex some new floor puzzles and another Thomas train. It's pretty nice.
It doesn't compare to the American equivalent in Madrid (Taste Of America), but Iberia has a pretty decent array of imported Spanish foods, wines and cheeses. I bee-lined to this big wheel of Manchego sheep cheese and immediately asked for the whole thing to take home. But then I discovered the price was over $75 (doh!), and opted for half instead (still worth it, but less demanding on the wallet). I also got some olives, "Bonito" in a can, Jamon Serrano (of course) and big pan specially for making paella. I'm not a huge fan of Spanish foods, but there are definitely some things I miss from my years in Spain.
Anyways, we've been slicing it up tonight, and it's sooo good, I thought I'd share. Happy weekend!