Today I am continuing to bring you recipes for the Spanish Tapas we enjoyed during My Spanish Style Birthday Party at The Cooking Block.  Today I thought I’d share the easiest recipe of all: Queso Manchego con Membrillo.

Queso Manchego con Membrillo| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I imagine most of you have heard of Manchego cheese.  It is a cheese made from sheep’s milk and comes from the La Mancha region in central Spain. Known in Spanish as Queso Manchego, the sheep’s milk used in the production of this cheese comes exclusively from the Manchego breed of sheep. The inedible rind of Queso Manchego is marked by a distinctive and traditional herringbone basket weave pattern that is pressed onto it.

Manchego and Membrillo| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Queso Manchego is probably the most famous Spanish cheese.  I buy it at my local Costco. It is actually protected under the European Union’s  “Denominación de Origen.”   Translated that means “The Denomination of Origin.” This is a fancy regulatory classification system that insures that all cheese named Manchego is made only with whole milk obtained from sheep of the Manchego breed, raised on registered farms, located within the designated area of La Mancha, Spain.  Ya got that?  In other words, the cheese I buy at Costco is the real deal, imported from Spain and made from the milk of pretty little sheep that, just like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, call la Mancha, Spain home. 

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

But if you aren’t Spanish or have never traveled to Spain, you may not be familiar with Membrillo.

Manchego and Membrillo| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Membrillo is a sweet, jelly-like confection that is made by cooking quince, a fruit that is somewhat like a cross between an apple and a pear. It is too hard and sour to eat fresh and must be cooked to be enjoyed. Because of its high pectin content, it is a perfect candidate for use in jams and jellies such as Membrillo. When cooked, the skin of the quince turns red and is what gives Membrillo its distinctive red color. You can purchase Membrillo at stores that carry Latin food or online from LaTienda.com.

Quince | Manchego and Membrillo| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As it turns out, Membrillo is the perfect accompaniment to Manchego cheese, and this combination is a very popular one in Spain.  Chef John showed me how to prepare this perfect and simple appetizer or Tapa.

John Shrader & Celia Becker at The Cooking Block | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Chef John instructed me to remove the inedible rind from the cheese and slice it into the traditional triangle shape.  Then, a thin slice of Membrillo is added on top.

Queso Manchego con Membrillo| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

What makes this particular version of Queso Manchego con Membrillo special is the addition of some lemon zest…

MANCHEGO AND MEMBRILLO | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

a couple of pine nuts, and a little sprinkle of lavender buds.

Queso Manchego con Membrillo| www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Serve it up at your next Tapas party and everyone will love it! It is simple, elegant, and to Americans, quite unique.




Prep time
Total time
This simple yet elegant Tapa is popular throughout Spain. Once you try it, it will be popular with you too!
Recipe type: Tapa
Cuisine: Spanish
  • Manchego Cheese
  • Membrillo (Quince Paste)
  • Lemon Zest
  • Pine Nuts
  • Culinary Lavender Buds
  1. Remove the rind from the Manchego cheese and slice into the desired quantity of ¼" triangles.
  2. Place a thin slice of Membrillo on top of the cheese.
  3. Sprinkle a dash of lemon zest on top.
  4. Add a couple of pine nuts and a touch of lavender.
  5. ENJOY!
This recipe was given to me by Chef John Shrader of The Cooking Block in Redlands, California.


Thanks for dropping in!  Do please leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you!

  • If you enjoyed this post, please help me spread the word by sharing it on your Facebook Page.  You can “Like” my Facebook Page here.
  • If you enjoyed the photos, please  “Pin Them” on your Pinterest page.  You can follow my Pinterest Page here.
  • If you’d like to read After Orange County every time a new article is posted, please “Subscribe” to the blog using the Subscription Box above.
  • Do you Tweet?  Please Tweet the word and follow my Twitter Page here.
  • Follow my blog on BlogLovin.com