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Cheese Spotlight: Queso de Mano

By September 18, 2016 Cheese Knowledge No Comments
Haystack Queso de Mano

Haystack Creamery’s Queso de Mano

Haystack Queso de Mano

Haystack Queso de Mano

Want to eat local?  You can’t go wrong with Haystack Creamery.  They’ve been making stellar goat cheeses right here in Colorado since 1989. This month we are featuring Queso de Mano, their first raw milk cheese.

Queso de Mano is inspired by a small, rustic cheese Haystack founder Jim Schott tried in Spain. Wanting to create a signature aged cheese of his own, he experimented with several recipes before he was able to achieve the “balance of smooth taste and piquant flavor” that are the hallmarks of a young Queso de Mano.

This semi-firm natural rind is aged for four to 12 months, which allows it to develop its nutty, earthy notes. As versatile in the kitchen as it on the table, you’ll find Queso de Mano is a delicious Colorado made stand-in for Spanish and Italian imports.

Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy took first for its aged Spanish-style goat cheese, Queso de Mano at this year’s cheese Oscars run by the American Cheese Society (ACS). This is the seventh time Queso De Mano has taken a prize at the ACS awards.


Basically, you can’t go wrong with Spanish! Light-to full-bodied red wines such as Tempranillo or Garnacha, or spicy Spanish rosé. Heifeweizen is lovely for a beer pairing with Queso de Mano.

The Creamery + Cheesemaker

Jackie Chan, Haystack Mountain Cheesemaker

Jackie Chan, Haystack Mountain Cheesemaker

In 1988, Jim Schott and his wife bought five goats (four does and a buck) and started a modest 6-acre farmstead in Niwot, Colorado. Haystack Mountain lay in view just to the north, and after

He started selling his homemade chevre to restaurants and farmers markets in and around Boulder County, and in 1992 they won their first award.  The team at Haystack has been making award-winning cheese ever since.  In 2004 Haystack built and opened a in Longmont.

In 2007, Haystack needed more goat’s milk than it could produce, so they sold the herd to focus on the cheesemaking.  They currently buy their goat milk from other farms.  Now cheesemaker Jackie Chan and her team create cheeses known for their clean, fresh flavor profiles, free of “goaty” aftertaste.

Even if you’ve shied away from goat cheese in the past, give Haystack’s a try. We can’t keep track of how many goat cheese converts we’ve won over with their wares.