Idiazabal cheese is a very unique Spanish cheese. Although, it does not receive as much consumer attention when compared to other cheeses, it is on par with best cheeses in Europe. It is no secret that the Spanish love their cheeses and this contributes to the Mediterranean diet which encourages people to consume a variety of dairy products. So why not get creative with the types of dairy products? Today, we plan to share everything we know, and love, about Deliart Idiazabal cheese in Spain.
What is Idiazabal Cheese?
This farm artisanal cheese comes from the Basque Country in Northern Spain. Specifically, from the town Idiazabal, Spain. The environment is ideal for raising the Latxa and Carranzana sheep. These sheep produce high quality milk due to the care and attention given from the shepherds. In order to be as environmentally conscious as possible, the sheep graze in cycles to take advantage of the natural food sources. The sheep tend to graze in high altitude pastures in the spring, summer, and autumn; and in winter they travel to the valleys.
A Cheese Deeply Rooted In The Tradition Of The Basque Country
Idiazabal is a genuine artisan cheese that backs the sustainability of the Basque Country and its traditions. This Basque shepherd tradition has passed from generation to generation. Even the master cheesemakers follow long standing practices to create unique and authentic cheese. This careful attention to detail is the reason why Idiazabal cheese is deemed a Denomination of Origin (D.O.) cheese. Cheesemakers continue to implement deeply rooted traditions while also incorporating more modern techniques in order for more people to try this delectable cheese. But don’t worry, the quality of taste is not hindered!
Idiazabal cheese, is it smoked or unsmoked?
Both varieties are made from unpasteurized Laxta and/or Carranza sheep’s milk. No preservatives or coloring agents are added. Professional cheesemaker carefully crafts every characteristic of this cheese.
The texture is compact and firm with very little elasticity, the paste is ivory in colour, firm but supple, and in some cases, small blue colorations can develop during the production process. This is just a visual defect and does not pose any sanitary problem or affect the taste.
This type of cheese is not typically classified as a moldy cheese. It is a mature cheese that cures for at least 2 months. After the curing period, the cheese is selected to be smoked or not.
The Unsmoked Version
An unsmoked Idiazabal cheese taste is slightly different since it did not go through the smoking process. Nevertheless, it is still a rather unique cheese. The flavor is consistent due to the use of sheep’s milk. The optimal flavor should range in intensities such as: spicy, sour, salty, nutty, and buttery. The notes of sweetness and acidity depend on the process of the cheese and the intention of the professional cheesemaker to give it a weak or medium intensity. Either way, the sensation of the taste should remain as a pleasant aftertaste. Idiazabal cheese also pairs nicely with red wines and cider.
Deliart Idiazabal Smoked Cheese Characteristics
Deliart Idiazabal Cheese is a smoked artisanal cheese that acquires its iconic characteristics as a result of being placed near a beech, birch, and cherry wood fireplace for a long period of time. Because of this added step the cheese has a smoky flavor that is reminiscent of caramel and bacon!
How Does Idiazabal Cheese Taste Like?
The taste is slightly different than that of an unsmoked cheese because it is drier and denser. You should be able to notice the presence of rennet, salt, and smoke. These flavors should not be overpowering but rather complimentary and well balanced. The odor shouldn’t be too overpowering either. Another identifiable factor is the dark brown coloring of the rind.
In order to preserve the leftover cheese, we recommend placing it in the lower level of the refrigerator in a sealed container with a piece of bread to soak up the moisture. This will protect the cheese from drying out or growing molds.
For further details we recommend you to read our article about How to preserve cheese in your home.
Idiazabal Cheese Pairings
Smoked Deliart Idiazabal cheese pairs excellently with red wines and cider. A gastronomic jewel that deserves a spot on your next cheese board or next time you make some party or cook a hamburguer.
Can you imagine its creamy and buttery texture with the hints of caramel and smoked bacon? So delicious!
Where to buy Idiazabal Cheese…
We hope this has piqued your tastebuds into trying our delicious Idiazabal Cheese. You can follow the information below if you are interested in purchasing our Idiazabal cheese and trying it on a delicious barbecued cheeseburger with family, a cheese board to impress your friends, or any other creative way!
If you want to taste it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have!