Cheese-o-pedia: M

  1. Mahón

    Ripened in underground caves with an almost Parmesan-like flavor with nutty, sharp and rustic overtones. This semi-soft cow's milk cheese is pale amber in color and surrounded by a natural, inedible orange-brown rind that is rubbed with olive oil and paprika.

    Mahón is produced on the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean off the east coast of Spain. One of the few Spanish cheeses made from cow's milk, it is also one of the Denominación de Origen "D.O." protected cheeses. Ripened in underground caves for at least six months, Mahón develops an orange-brown rind from the paprika and olive oil it is brushed with during its aging. It is Spain's most popular cow's milk cheese.

    Place shards of Mahón into extra virgin olive oil with fresh rosemary or slice and serve on tapas with gazpacho.

    Pair Mahón with Priorat white, dry Madeira, Cava and pale ales.

  2. Manchego

    Sheep's milk makes Manchego tangy and hearty. When aged in olive oil it has a warm and rustic flavor. It is surrounded by an inedible hard rind that is pale yellow to gray-green or black in color. This rind presents an unusual basket-like pattern that is embossed into it from the woven straw used to hold the pressed curds. Its interior is a dark ivory to yellow color. Manchego is a firm cheese with a compact, dry texture.

    The most well known of all the Spanish cheeses, Manchego is one of Spain's Denominación de Origen "D.O." cheeses. It is produced in La Mancha in Central Spain. Manchego is one of the great cheeses of the world.

    Manchego can be served with Spanish olives or as a dessert with dried fruit and nuts. It also works well with quince paste and is frequently found in tapas or grated on vegetables.

    Pair Manchego with dry Sherry, Madiera or Tawny Port.

  3. Mascarpone

    Mascarpone is a sweet, creamy cow’s milk cheese that is pale cream in color. It is a major ingredient in Italian tortas.

    Mascarpone can be served as is or combined with other ingredients to make desserts, fillings, toppings, dips and spreads. It can also be stirred into soups and sauces.

    Pair Mascarpone with dry sparkling wines like Champagne.

  4. Monterey Jack

    A creamy white, smooth-textured cheese with a gentle flavor and easy-to-melt quality. Monterey Jack has a semi-soft texture, an off-white color, is peppered with small holes and has a mild to mellow flavor.

    Melt Monterey Jack in quesadillas or on nachos. It can also be baked in quiches and enjoyed on sandwiches.

    Pair Monterey Jack with white wines, iced tea, lemonade or cider.

  5. Mozzarella

    A creamy, semi-firm, white cheese with a smooth texture and a mild flavor. Smooth melting quality and a fresh taste make this a cheese the whole family can enjoy.

    Enjoy Mozzarella on pizza or in lasagna, baked ziti and other Italian dishes. Try it melted on bruschetta or grilled eggplant slices, or serve it with prosciutto and olives on focaccia or with tomatoes and basil in a salad.

    Pair mozzarella with light red wine, beer and fruit juices.

  6. Muenster

    Muenster is a semi-soft cheese with a rich, smooth and creamy texture, a mild, tangy, buttery flavor and a distinctive orange rind.

    Enjoy muenster on sandwiches, burgers and in casseroles. Serve it cubed for cheese platters, or melt on toast for a delicious breakfast.

    Pair muenster with beer, juice, cider or fruity wines.

  7. Mun-chee®

    A very mild, sweet semi-soft processed cheese made from the finest ingredients under the highest quality controls. Sometimes called "Sweet Mun-chee," this rindless cow's milk cheese is a certified OU kosher product. This means the production of the cheese, starting from the manufacturing of every ingredient, is watched over by special rabbinical inspectors to insure the strictest of production standards.

    Mun-chee® cheese is great for snacking on camping trips and picnics and can be added to omelets, sandwiches and wraps, and macaroni and cheese.

    Pair Mun-chee® cheese with soda and iced tea.

  8. Murcia al Vino

    Murcia al Vino is a young, firm, goat's milk cheese that has been bathed in red wine during ripening to give it its extraordinary color and add a hint of flavor. The cheese is made from the milk of Murciano-Granadina goats, widely considered to be the best in all of Spain.

    Murcia al Vino is great on tapas, melted on a hamburger or veggie burger or fried with tomato sauce. It also makes a great snack.

    Pair Murcia al Vino with full-bodied Spanish reds like Rioja or Ribera del Duero.

  9. Myzithra

    Made from the whey of feta and other sheep's milk cheeses creating a high protein, low fat cheese. This traditional Greek cheese has been made in Greece for thousands of years and is considered the ancestor of all whey cheeses. In the early years, balls of Myzithra would be wrapped in small sheets of muslin and hung in trees to dry in the sea air. Myzithra is very white and has a smooth texture and salty flavor.

    There are two types of Myzithra: a young one which is slightly salted and has a texture and flavor similar to Italian Ricotta Salata (another whey cheese), and aged Myzithra which is hard and grainy and is an excellent substitute for Romano for grating on pasta or salads.

    Cube Myzithra and add to ripe tomatoes drizzled with olive oil or serve with dried figs and nuts.

    Pair Myzithra with strong coffee or ouzo.