Idiazabal Smoked DOP Black Label is a handmade, unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Spanish Pyrenees. It is naturally smoked and boasts a hard, edible rind, with a paste that boasts a rich, buttery flavor with hints of burnt caramel and bacon. The black label distinguishes this particular Idiazabal’s supreme quality.
This complex cheese received Denomination of Origin in 1987, ensuring the quality and authenticity of its production. It was originally produced by Basque shepherds living in small mountain huts who had no space for storing and aging the cheeses, so they left them by their fireplaces which caused the smoky flavor that is so widely enjoyed. Idiazabal is now produced in modern facilities, but the process is kept all natural and the cheese is smoked over either Hawthorne or Cherry woods.
Our flavorful Idiazabal is a great alternative or cheese to try if you are already a fan of Manchego and fancy exploring some other wonderful Spanish cheeses. Any red wine from the Navarre region pairs wonderfully, and so does sherry. You can serve it with dried fruit, melted over potatoes, it goes superbly with grilled or barbecued meats or even just as a snack to enjoy on crusty bread.
This Idiazabal Smoked DOP Black Label is produced by Artzai Gatza. Farmstead makers of Idiazabal formed the Artzai Gatza (which translates to Shepherd’s Cheese) cooperative in 1985 to promote and ensure the quality of the cheeses made by dairy farmers. Today, its 112 members make more than half of Idiazabals sold worldwide.