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Idiazabal

BASQUE COUNTRY
Milk of Sheep
Fresh
Taste: Strong
Texture: medium
Pasta: Hard
3,7 Kg
Cured
Rioja crianza
DESCRIPTION

Idiazábal cheese is made from fresh sheep’s milk, without pasteurizing and mixing with other milks. The Latxa breed of sheep, used to make this cheese, is strongly linked to the shepherding history of the Basque country. Idiazábal cheese is cured during minimum of two months and, normally, no more than six, from pressed, uncooked paste. Made from animal rennet, it can be either smoked or not and has a high fat content, is acidic, somewhat salty and, in some cases has a penetrating taste of rennet and smoke, making this an exquisite taste for the palate.

PRODUCT HISTORY

The name Idiazábal was selected because it was the best known, and because it identifies it as a Basque cheese. Its origin comes from the fact that these sheep cheeses were taken to market in this village (today it no longer exists and has been substituted by Ordicia) by shepherds who came down from the mountains in fall, when the summer grazing period ended in the fields of Aralar and Urbia.

PRODUCTION PROCESS

The milk is heated to between 28º and 32ºC (82.4º and 89.6ºF), a temperature at which the milk curdles thanks to baby sheep rennet. The paste is progressively cut into smaller and smaller pieces which are then heated to 38ºC (100ºF). Once these small pieces are ready, they are all poured into cylindrical molds which are then pressed until the cheese takes its characteristic shape. The salting is usually done by immersion in brine, never more than 48 hours. The curing should be done at a constant temperature and humidity and should not last less than 60 days. The greatest part of the Idiazábal cheeses are smoked with white hawthorn, beechwood or birch.

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Denominación de Origen II
Greatreserves of sheep’s cheese
QUESOS FROM BASQUE COUNTRY
Idiazabal
SUGGESTIONS FOR GASTRONOMICAL COMBINATIONS
Its taste is pronounced, developed, slightly sharp and acidic. It has just the right amount of salt, buttery to the palate due to the sheep’s milk, and smoky. It is eaten directly every day, as a tapa and also as a dessert, served with nuts. Its smoky and buttery touch make it perfect for filling or breading blue fish or white meats.