Food, Food Artisans

August Cheese of the Month: The Manchester

A Super-Rich Jersey Cow’s Milk Cheese

The Manchester draws its origins from a soft-ripened double cream cheese along the Welsh-English border, but through process differences (both intentional and unintentional) no longer bears any resemblance to its very distant cousin. By way of gentle pasteurization and an extraordinarily slow culturing process, the Manchester fully embodies the intricate and sumptuous flavors of the extraordinarily rich Jersey cow’s milk we use to make it.


Featuring a thin, wrinkly geotrichum candidum rind and a luscious, tasty creamline just underneath that rind encompassing a dense, slightly earthy paste, the Manchester varies from a fudgelike delight when young, to an ooey-gooey decadent treat when aged past 2 months.

Like other cheeses, Manchester is best served at room temperature when its full flavor will come through. Because it’s so soft, it will ooze a bit when it’s warm. That’s normal. Try it dusted with light muscovado sugar then baked into puff pastry and served warm for an excellent hors d’oeuvre. Or offer it up in wedges, topped with toasted almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts. It’s excellent spread on ham sandwiches topped with caramelized onions (see recipe below).

Hamchester Sandwich Recipe

(Makes 2)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a little bit more to grill the sandwiches
  • 1/2 pound sweet Vidalia onion
  • 4 ounces sliced good ham, like the Prosciutto Americano from La Quercia
  • 4 ounces Zingerman’s Creamery Manchester round (sliced thin if it’s cold,
    spread if it’s warm)
  • 4 slices of San Francisco Sourdough bread from Zingerman’s Bakehouse
  • 2 tablespoons chutney (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat.
Add the onions and sauté until golden (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat.
Place a large nonstick skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
Using a pastry brush, brush 1 side of 2 slices of bread with olive oil, and place oiled side down in skillet. Top each slice with 1 ounce of cheese, 1 ounce of ham, half of the onions, 1 more ounce ham, and topped with 1 more ounce of the cheese.
Top each sandwich with another slice of bread brushed with the oil, oiled side up.
Flip the sandwiches a few times until the cheese is melted and gooey and bread is toasty and golden.

See you soon!