Is this really a Spanish thing?

Just watching Jaime Oliver making tapas (I have a lot of free time on my hands).

He says gnarly bits of cheddar drenched in honey and sprinkled with ground coffee beans are heavenly or gorgeous or something like that.

Anybody ever try this?

You sure it was cheddar? He uses manchego in this recipe.

But I don’t have any manchego, so I tried it with the cheddar: it was nice. The sweetness of the honey and the … coffee-ness of the coffee enhanced the umami of the cheddar.

I can’t tell you whether it’s something the Spanish would typically serve, I’m afraid. I certainly didn’t feel particularly Iberian while I was eating it. Maybe I should have paired it with Tinto de Verano instead of cheap lager.

Yep, it was cheddar; surprised me too. Maybe the real Spanish stuff is too expensive to use on a regular basis.

Tapas, pinchos, montaditos… aren’t specific recipes. Sure, there are specific recipes, but those aren’t a closed set; they change all the time. Taking the concept and making up your own recipes isn’t just a Spanish thing: it’s 90% of what making decent tapas is about.

Said a different way: if I see a tapas place which offers only recipes you can find in a tapas-recipes books, I pass so quick there’s a boom.

ETA: Jaime Oliver understands Spanish cooking just fine, from what I’ve seen in bits and pieces of his programs. Spanish or otherwise I don’t think I’ve ever seen him use someone else’s recipe exactly, he always gives them his own twist.

On the other hand, manchego does sound an awful lot like cheddar… :dubious: :frowning:


It’s not even from the same animal, although the aged versions of both are similar enough that I can stand aged cheddar (I tend to hate cow cheeses). But the point is, it’s not supposed to be an exact replacement - if you want to use an “exact replacement”, well, use the original item.

That was my original post before I "n/m"ed it, thinking maybe he was saying more that “cheddar” and “manchego” actually sound similar in the literal, pronunciation sense as opposed to the idiomatic sense that he thought they were similar cheeses? But maybe my first thought was the correct one, as they don’t really “sound” the same in that manner, either.