Say Cheese: 7 Must-Have Spanish Cheeses for Tapas

Are you planning a tapas night?

Tapas are a delicious staple of the Spanish diet. Cheese is an integral part of a lot of tapas dishes. You can add them to other dishes, or create a cheese plate for your next tapas night.

If you’re not familiar with Spanish cheeses, keep reading for more information on some of the most popular varieties.

Seven Must-Have Spanish Cheeses

You’re probably familiar with famous Italian cheeses, like parmesan and mozzarella. But how much do you know about Spanish cheeses? There are many different types of Spanish cheese, but they’re all equally delicious.

To help you decide what to add to your next tapas plate, here are seven types of the most famous Spanish cheeses:

1. Manchego Cheese

sliced queso manchego wheel on wooden cutting board
Queso Manchego

Manchego is probably the most famous Spanish cheese, and it should be a staple in any of your tapas recipes.

This type of cheese is produced by Manchego sheep, a particular breed of sheep that live in the La Mancha region of central Spain. Manchego also pairs well with red wine, so grab a bottle of your favorite Spanish red.

2. Cabrales

sliced queso Cabrales on wooden table
Queso Cabrales

This beautiful cheese is perfect for blue cheese fans who aren’t afraid of robust flavor. The milk for this cheese comes from cows, sheep and goats and is then aged inside caves in the Picos de Europa mountains for a unique character.

3. Torta del Casar

Torta del Casar spanish cheese
Torta del Casar Cheese

Torta del Casar comes from the Extremadura region of Spain which also produces the famed jamón ibérico. It’s made from sheep’s milk and features an unusual smell, so it’s great for cheese fans who aren’t afraid of some stinky cheese.

It also has a hard cover that’s used to preserve it, so make sure you put the cap back on so it doesn’t dry out.

4. Idiazabal Cheese

Sliced Idiazabal Cheese Wedges and wheel
Idiazabal Cheese

Idiazabal cheese is another delicious option that comes from Basque Country. This cheese is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk, and it’s usually lightly smoked, which gives it a slightly nutty taste. This cheese is another option that pairs well with Spanish red wine.

5. Mahón Cheese

Mahón Cheese wedges with knife, fork and glass jar of olive oil
Mahón Cheese

Mahón comes from Menorca, an island in the Meditteranean Sea near Ibiza. It’s made from cow’s milk, and the wind from the Meditteranean gives it a slightly salty taste.

6. Arzúa-Ulloa

Arzúa-Ulloa cheese wedges
Arzúa-Ulloa Cheese

Arzúa-Ulloa is a delicious cheese that comes from the Galicia region of Spain. This region is famous for its cattle, so naturally, it produces some fantastic cheese as well as meat.

This cheese is made from cow’s milk, has a light-yellow color and is very creamy and soft. It’s very rich, so it makes a perfect dessert when paired with a little bread and some Spanish membrillo.

7. Ibores Cheese

sliced spanish Ibores Cheese wedges on wooden cutting board
Ibores Cheese

Ibores cheese is excellent for fans of goat cheese. This cheese is made from goats milk, which gives it a smooth and crumbly texture. You’ll typically see the rind rubbed in paprika, which gives the cheese a subtly smoky flavor.

Learn More About Spanish Culture and Food

Spain is a country that’s known for its rich culture and delicious food, and Spanish cheeses are just one small part of the typical diet.

Check out the rest of our site for more Spanish food recipes and inspiration for your next tapas party. Or check out this article on the seven best tapas recipes to get you started.

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