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This handmade, unpasteurized sheep's milk cheese comes from the Spanish Pyrenees. Idiazabal is naturally smoked with a hard but edible orange-brown rind. In the old days, Basque shepherds lived in small mountain huts and had no space to store and age their cheeses other than inside their stone chimneys. As it turned out, people enjoyed the smoky flavor that the cheese acquired from aging inside the chimneys, and Idiazabal spread throughout Spain. Today, Idiazabal is produced in more modern facilities, but the process is still all natural. The cheese is as delicious as ever, and the quality is more consistent. Its perfumed bouquet and rich, buttery flavor make Idiazabal one of Spain's greatest cheeses. Great diced into salads or Spanish rice. Also goes well rolled with ham and salami or sliced on crusty bread with fresh fruit on the side.
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