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Roncal

NAVARRE
Milk of Sheep
Fresh
Taste: Strong
Texture: Hard
Pasta: Hard
2,8 Kg
Cured
Tinto con cuerpo
DESCRIPTION

Roncal cheese was the very first to receive a D.O. in Spain. Each wheel holds the secret of its artesian production, labor and rituals, which have been handed down from parents to children for centuries. This kind of cheese is characteristically cylindrical, with a thick rind. It is ivory white, compact with no holes, easily crumbles when cutting, and has a robust, slightly sharp flavor. It has a buttery texture.

PRODUCT HISTORY

The old book containing the millenary laws and ordinances regulating the valley’s activities says: “In the Community of the Seven Villages, which makes up the Roncal valley, all inhabitants have the right to use the pastures and grasses with all kinds of livestock.” The Roncalese have always been shepherds by tradition, and although the first real information on these people dates back to the 13th century, we can go back to the Middle Ages to study and analyze Roncalese traditions and customs. When the winter arrived and snow covered the mountains, the transhumance began. This is ritual that continues even today with many flocks and one that was promoted in 882 A.D. when King Sancho García bestowed grazing rights to the inhabitants of the valley in thanks for the courage shown in the battle against the Saracens. It is in this ranching atmosphere where the Roncalese shepherds carry on with the traditional fabrication of a great cheese using the milk from their livestock.

PRODUCTION PROCESS

The fabrication begins with non-pasteurized milk, low in acidity and with a good dry cheese extract. This milk is coagulated at between 32º and 37ºC (89.6º and 98.6ºF) with animal rennet (it used to be with young goat). The resulting paste is cut into small pieces and then is used to fill molds made from beech wood and it is then pressed. Afterwards, it is salted in dense and fresh brine for 30 hours.

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Denominación de Origen I
Greatreserves of sheep’s cheese
QUESOS FROM NAVARRE
Roncal
SUGGESTIONS FOR GASTRONOMICAL COMBINATIONS
Cooks from Navarre use it either grated or cut in long, thin slices or shavings in many different vegetable dishes, such as “piquillo” peppers, artichokes, thistles… wherever a touch of cheese would be appreciated.