La Mancha, Spain
For those of you who are already familiar with Manchego, Leyenda should be the next cheese in line to try. Although it is made from sheep’s milk in the same area as Manchego, Leyenda is treated a bit differently in the cheese-making process. The rind is rubbed with lard, and dried herbs, and then soaked in Solera brandy (or sherry) for 4-5 days. The cheese picks up the savory herb flavors and takes on a sweetness, almost akin to raisins, from the brandy. This pairs very well with other savory items like olives, nuts, cured meats and even a hearty pâté.