Each summer, nomadic shepherds would usher native Latxa and Carranzana sheep up the mountains to enjoy the lush, new grass. Known for their rich, buttery milk, the resulting cheese was lightly pressed and left to dry by the fire where it would be gently smoked.
Today, Idiazábal is one of the few A.O.P. cheeses allowed to be smoked with either beech or maple woods in deference to original methods. Made using raw milk and aged for two to four months, Idiazábal develops an inedible caramel rind while the paste is springy and toothsome with small eyes. Flavours are irresistible - smokey-sweet, lactic and complex, this approachable cheese is perfect for snacking and would also be an excellent summer melter.
We recommend pairing it with a lightly chilled red like Tempranillo or a dry cider.