Can you eat Iberico cheese when pregnant?

In this article, we are going to answer can you eat Iberico cheese when pregnant, what is Iberico cheese, is Iberico cheese the same as manchego, is Iberico cheese healthy to eat when pregnant, what cheese to avoid, and which ones are safe and how to add Iberico cheese to your diet. 

Can you eat Iberico cheese when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat Iberico cheese when pregnant. It is considered a hard cheese with a low water content which makes it more difficult to be contaminated with bacteria. 

What is Iberico cheese? 

It is a cheese made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cows, goats, and sheep’s milk. All cheese names Iberico need to follow the next proportions

  • Maximum 50% cows milk
  • Minimum 15% of goat’s milk
  • Minimum 15% of sheep’s milk

It is made in Spain and it is distinguished for its buttery, nutty, and strong taste. There are two varieties of Iberico cheese

  • Semi-cured: aged for 1 to 3 months and cured 
  • Cures: aged for 3 to 12 months 

It is compared to manchego cheese for its rich and buttery texture. 

Is Iberico cheese the same as manchego cheese?

No, they are not the same, they both have a very similar flavor. Manchego cheese is made from sheep’s milk only and is aged for longer periods while Iberico Cheese is made from goat, sheep, and cow’s milk.  Also, manchego cheese is protected under Spain’s Designation of Origin regulations.

Is Iberico cheese healthy?

Yes, as long as you moderate your intake it can be part of your balanced and healthy diet. 100 grams of Iberico Cheese contains:

100 grams
Calories412 calories
Protein23 grams
Fats23 grams
Saturated Fats20.1 grams
Carbohydrates550 mg
Sodium1.5 grams
Calcium820 mg

What cheese can you eat when pregnant?

According to the NHS, you can eat all hard cheese made with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk because they have low water content which makes it harder for bacteria to grow.

  • Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Gruyere
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Havarti
  • Manchego
  • Edam
  • Emmental
  • Halloumi

The NHS also recommends that soft cheese as long as it is made from pasteurized milk is safe to eat when pregnant. 

  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Ricotta
  • Mozzarella
  • Feta
  • Prepared cheese spreads

What cheese to avoid when pregnant?

You should not eat any soft cheese, mold-ripened or blue-veined. They are strictly out of limits when pregnant. 

  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Goat cheese with the rind
  • Chevre
  • Danish Blue
  • Gorgonzola
  • Roquefort
  • Queso Blanco or queso fresco

What happens if I eat unpasteurized cheese?

The risk of food poisoning with unpasteurized Iberico cheese is not that usual but you still need to be careful. 

Pregnant women are too susceptible to food poisoning. They are 20 times more susceptible to having worse side effects. The FDA says that soft cheese, unpasteurized, is 50 to 160 times more prone to be contaminated with bacteria, especially Listeria monocytogenes. 

The main side effects you can experience with a foodborne illness:

  • Blood or brain infections
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm labor
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever

How can I add Iberico cheese to my diet?

It is perfect to serve as a snack, grating cheese, or grilling cheese. You can use it in your cheese board accompanied by fruit like grapes and some Iberico or serrano ham.  Here is a recipe for Iberico Cheese Frittata and Chorizo

2 servings

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup of Iberico Cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces dried cured chorizo slice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Onion, chopped (quantity as wanted)
  • 3 fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch small swiss chard, leaves chopped 

Step 1

Heat broiler. Whisk eggs in a large bowl, add cheese and herbs with salt and pepper

Step 2

Cook chorizo over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate

Step 3

Heat oil in the same skillet, add onion with salt, and cook until soft. Add potatoes until soft. 

Step 4

Add chard and cook, season with salt and pepper. Add chorizo and mix then add egg with the cheese mixture. Distribute it evenly. Run a heatproof spatula around the frittata to loosen. 

If you don’t want to cook it, here is how to make paired Spanish cheese, manchego, or Iberico cheese, on a platter for your cheeseboard. 

Other FAQs about Cheese that you may be interested in.

How to fry cheese without breading?

How long does vacuum sealed cheese last at room temperature?

Can kraft cheese powder go bad?

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat Iberico cheese when pregnant, what is Iberico cheese, is Iberico cheese the same as manchego, is Iberico cheese healthy to eat when pregnant, what cheese to avoid, and which ones are safe, and how to add Iberico cheese to your diet. 

Citation

https://www.cheese.com/queso-iberico/

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/cheese-eat-pregnant

https://111.wales.nhs.uk/LiveWell/Pregnancy/FoodsToAvoid/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.