Laxta and Carranza sheep bask on the hillsides of Basque, and the rich, buttery raw milk they produce helps to create the region's favorite Spanish D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) cheese - Idiazábal. Similar to its Spanish cousin, Manchego, this cheese is lightly pressed and gently smoked, a nod to its humble history of drying by the fireplace. Ours is lightly smoked, and aged only 2-3 months. We like the supple, toothsome texture at this point and the subtle sharpness. The particular sheep breeds give exceptionally rich, fatty milk, resulting in a buttery mouth-feel and an intriguing gamy character. Best enjoyed hearthside with a mug of hard cider or a fruity Spanish red.
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