Why Idiazabal is an award winning cheese

It’s amazing how the world is divided between those who LOVE cheese and those who don’t…

Please count me out in the tribe of the cheese lovers!

In the Basque Country, we have our wonderful Idiazabal, made from unpasteurized sheep milk, usually from Latxa sheep. It has a somewhat smokey flavour even when it’s un-smoked.

Handmade and aged for a few months until it develops a nutty, buttery flavour, it is eaten fresh, often with quince jam. Yum! If aged longer, it becomes firm, dry and sharp and can be used for grating.

And we are so lucky that we have award winning cheese farmers that open up their doors to us and show how they do it the traditional way!

In summer, the sheep migrate to higher pastures, our Highlands, to graze on the blossoming, new grass. During this time, the artisanal cheese makers milk the sheep, make the cheese and let it in the rafters to mature for a minimum ripening of 2 months. At the end of summer, when the shepherds return back to the lowlands with their sheep, the cheese has ripened and is ready for sale.

The Basque way takes you there to taste it and feel it. Take a look…

It not only tastes good but it also makes you laugh for the pics… Cheese!!!!

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