Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste is a simple yet delicious tapa that's a bit out of the ordinary. The cheese and paste both come in blocks so can easily be cut into triangles making an impressive presentation.
In Spanish cuisine tapas refer to a variety of appetizers or snacks, sometimes called "the little dishes of Spain." They can be as simple as olives or this combination of cheese and quince, or more complex including sauces and pastry. Yet tapas are made with ingredients common in Spain so all appetizers are not tapas.
There are no rules for appetizers so check out my roundup of holiday appetizers if you're building a menu or looking for something that really catches your eye. I've got beautiful platters for entertaining, stunning dips that stand out on any buffet table, soup shooters for fancy dinners and more.
Manchego cheese is a sharp, hard sheeps' milk cheese. It can now quite easily be found at deli counters and specialty cheese shops.
- Manchego cheese
- quince paste (substitute quince jam or fig jam)
See recipe card for exact amounts
Manchego Cheese Substitute
If you can't find Manchego substitute with a well-aged Italian Asiago, Pecorino or even a sharp, white English cheddar.
Quince Paste vs Quince Jam
In Spanish quince paste is called membrillo or dulce de membrillo. It's a sweet, thick, jelly made from the pulp of the quince fruit. It's sold in round or rectangular-shaped plastic tubs and is firm enough to be sliced. I most often see quince paste in shops around the Christmas holidays.
Look for quince paste in the deli section of a well stocked grocery store or a specialty food shop. In Calgary I sometimes find it at the Cookbook Company.
What is a substitute for quince paste?
If you can't find quince paste look for quince jam or fig jam. Rather than slicing the paste, spread the jam right onto the cheese triangles and serve it the same way.
Best Gluten Free Tapas
The modern way food bloggers organize recipes is doing a roundup. From my Gluten Free Tapas recipe roundup these are my favourite tapas.
- Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste
- Banderillas, perfect for a DIY crowd
- Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
- Chorizo Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Dates
- Meatballs in Almond Sauce served on toothpicks
- Tuna Rice Salad that's more than the sum of it's parts!
- Potato Chorizo Frittata served appetizer style for any crowd
Let me know in the comments below if you made this simple tapa or have a favourite one you like to make.
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Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste
- 8 oz Manchego cheese
- 8 oz quince paste
- Cut Manchego cheese into triangles.
- Cut quince paste into triangles slightly smaller than the cheese. Place on cheese.
- Arrange on tray. Serve at room temperature.