Idiazabal (Basque) Queso 3 Kilo
Idiazábal is a small village located in the Goierri valley, in the heart of the Basque Region. It is surrounded by the large Aralar and Urbia mountain ranges. Each fall, with the first snow, farmers would descend from the mountain pastures with their flocks. At that time, an important farmers market would take place where smoked ewe's milk cheese would be sold. These cheeses were made during the summer in "txabolas", rural dwellings high in the mountains.
The name Idiazábal became known in the markets as being synonymous with Queso Vasco (Basque cheese). Normally this cheese is smoked with beechwood, hawthorn or cherry wood. An unsmoked version is also produced in the lower regions of the valley or in the area located in Navarra where there is no tradition of smoked cheeses.
Idiazábal is a robust and sharp cheese, made to be ripened for a long period. It is produced by farmers as well as industrially with well-defined characteristics: unpasteurized whole sheep’s milk from Lacha or Carranzana breeds, with high acidity and low fat, coagulated with natural young lambs' rennet giving it a slight piquant taste. Its dry and crumbly paste is a delight for those cheese lovers who like to "chew the cheese".