Ibérico is a semi-hard or hard cheese from Spain made from a mixture of cow, sheep and goat milk. This rather unusual mixture of three types of milk is responsible for the typical cheese taste of the mixed milk cheese. Queso Ibérico is considered the most popular cheese in Spain. About half of all cheeses consumed in the country are Queso Ibéricos. It is very similar to Manchego, but the latter is made exclusively from sheep's milk. Ibérico is industrially produced throughout the country from pasteurized milk, but predominantly in Spain's central plateau, the Meseta. According to Spanish regulations, the milk used for the cheese must consist of at least 50% cow's milk, at least 30% goat's milk and at least 10% sheep's milk. However, depending on the producer, this ratio is sometimes modified. A ratio of 60% cow's milk, 30% goat's milk and 10% sheep's milk, but other ratios such as 50% cow's milk, 30% goat's milk and 20% sheep's milk are also possible.
The cheese combines the characteristics of the three types of milk from which it is made: The acidity of cow's milk, the aroma, spicy cheese flavor and whitish color of goat's milk, and the butteriness and strong flavor of sheep's milk. The Ibérico is for many the most typical representative among the mixed milk cheeses and is one of the most successful varieties of its kind.
The Ibérico has a mild, fresh and balanced aroma with a buttery cheese flavor. As it matures, the aroma and flavor become stronger and spicier. Ibérico is a very popular everyday cheese in Spain due to its mild and balanced character. It is eaten on bread or simply as a snack. It is also used for gratinating. Ibérico is also a popular dessert with membrillo (quince jelly).