Cheese-making existed in Ancient Egyptian times, four thousand or more years ago, so you might be surprised at the age of that wheel of Manchego in your fridge!
Cheese was made originally when it was discovered that this ingenious method of preservation allowed the nutrients in milk to be saved for later consumption. It was probably an serendipitous accidental discovery many thousands of years ago.
In Spain, archaeologists have found evidence of Manchego cheese production on the La Mancha plains well before the time of Christ, back when Iberian civilization was still in a relatively primitive Bronze Age. These cheese-makers were surrounded by distant ancestors of the Manchega sheep whose milk give present-day Manchego cheese its nuanced taste.
So when eating Manchego, there’s an unbroken line of cheese which connects you back through thousands of years of science all the way to ancient Iberian shepherds!