Idiazabal is a delicious cheese made with raw sheep’s milk, usually from the Latxa and Carranzana sheep species located in the Basque Country and Navarre. This cheese is strong in flavor and presents smoky characteristics, though the cheese is unsmoked (there is a smoked version, though). It is semi-hard and melts wonderfully.
The cheese is slightly acidic thanks to the raw milk. It is grainy and has a long, persistent finish. It works perfectly on its own and is fantastic with a Tempranillo or Syrah. When it comes to uses, it can be used in tapas, and on pizzas and pastas. It is pungent, aromatic, and unmistakable.
As it is quite strong in flavor, try making a salad of roquet, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and grilled chicken breast. Top with a simple balsamic vinegarette and garnish with this delicious cheese. It will hit all the right notes and leave you satisfied at the end. Pair with a barrel aged verdejo.
Cheeses (except brined ones in jars) should be stored in the crisper or the butter drawer of a refrigerator, not on the shelves themselves. This is to help regulate their temperature and humidity levels—and prevents the formation of mold. Once opened, they should not be kept in their original packaging. Soft cheeses with delicate rinds need to breathe, so they are best placed in glass containers lined with paper towels to absorb extra moisture. Leave the lid open a tiny bit for air to circulate and don’t forget to write up a label with the date you first opened the package. Kindly pay attention to the best before date label when you receive your cheese. Consume prior to date indicated.