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Manchego and Quince–dessert or appetizer?

Manchego and quince — salty, slightly tart cheese and sweet fruity quince paste. Stack the flavorful combination for a simple elegant dessert, or as a welcome palate pleasing appetizer. Either way, pairing manchego cheese with quince paste makes for easy unexpected nibbles.

Manchego and quince served on plates

In my mind the sweet and savory duo always belonged at the end of a meal. When guests think they’re going to be served a rich dessert on top of a rich meal, they will be surprised and delighted with this simple elegant treat.

Because the cheese and fruit pairing sparks the taste buds so nicely, I’ve expanded my way of thinking–the combo is more than dessert! When guests first come in the door, serve bites of manchego and quince. They make a perfect appetizer with drinks!

All you do is cut each of the two in matching rounds or rough rectangles and place the pink fruity on top of the pale yellow salty. Manchego and quince make a perfect holiday duo, both a super-easy surprise dessert or a fun appetizer!

Manchego and quince dessert of appetizer close up on plate

Manchego and Quince ingredient details:

  • The flavorful buttery sheep’s milk cheese comes from La Mancha Spain, therefore the name Manchego.
  • Quince the fruit, like apples, has a lot of natural pectin. Simmered with sugar, quince boils down into a rosy-red thick jelly, a paste that forms into an easily sliceable block of fruity heaven that goes really well with salty manchego cheese!
  • The Spanish translation of quince is membrillo. Could it be the shared Spanish heritage of Manchego and quince is the reason the flavors ard so enjoyable together?
  • Membrillo, quince paste, used to be hard to find but now you can find quince paste at Trader Joes, only an aisle away from the cheese display. Or you can order quince paste online via my Amazon affiliate link.
  • If you can’t find Manchego cheese, swap it out for a sharp white Cheddar cheese whick is also delicious with quince paste.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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The quince paste link is an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase a product via my link, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen.


  • Thanks so much for your comment on G+ and pointing me this direction. Love your little rounds! Great idea, since slicing the cheese became rather “crumbly”. Reply · 24 February, 2014

    • Letty

      Lea Ann.
      Yes, the little rounds turn the combo into elegant. Trouble is, I eat all the scraps! Reply · 25 February, 2014

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