Idiazabal Smoked DOP is a handmade, unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from the Spanish Pyrenees. It is naturally smoked with a hard, but edible rind and a paste that boasts a rich, buttery flavor with hints of burnt caramel and bacon.
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. It pairs exceptionally well with full-bodied reds and dry cider, with a scattering of nuts.
Idiazabal Smoked DOP is declared one of the world’s 62 best cheeses and won super gold medal in 2014 at the World Cheese Awards. 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.