The central markets in spain’s rural countryside begin at the same time each day. Around 7 a.m., the sun makes quick work of drying the dew off the wild oregano, bringing with it a dusty heat that coats the thistles. Vendors bend the hinges of folding tables and erect tents to protect their heads from the midday burn. Some set up in town squares, others on the lawns of ancient monasteries crawling with vines.
HERE’S WHAT MOST OF US KNOW ABOUT MANCHEGO: it’s a sheep’s milk cheese from Spain, increasingly found at supermarkets and deli counters in addition to its ubiquitous appearance on tapas menus. In fact, Manchego seems to be almost everywhere – a surprising observation given its Bronze Age provenance. Few foods survive the test of that much time.