Country of origin: Spain
Type: hard, artisan
Flavour: buttery, nutty, smokey
Idiazabal is a traditional, farmhouse, hard cheese made from raw milk of Latxa or Carranza sheep in the Basque and Navarra regions of northern Spain. Idiazabal is produced in the shape of a cylinder, with a smooth and hard natural rind that is pale yellow to amber in colour. The cheese has a compact texture, with a few pinprick holes. It is dry, but not crumbly, and feels pleasantly oily in the mouth. The rind carries the marks of the wooden moulds in which it was drained. The characteristic, smoky flavour is the result of the cheeses having been stored near the fireplaces.