Idiazabal cheese is made from raw sheep’s milk which is matured for at least two months. The rind is hard and smooth, and when cut the cheese is even in texture; the cheese is ivory to straw yellow in colour, with tiny holes. The texture is slightly elastic, yet firm and somewhat granular. It has been covered by the PDO since 1987.
The milk for this cheese must be produced in the Basque Country or in Navarra (apart from the Roncal Valley), and the cheese must also be made there.
The cheese may be smoked or unsmoked and it is available in one to three kilo sizes, or in wedges. Whatever the format, it must display a label with the Denomination logo and a numbered back label provided by the Regulating Council.
In addition, there will be a casein disc in the rind of every whole cheese bearing the register number, providing information about traceability.
TIP: keeps tooth decay at bay by preventing the growth of certain microorganisms which cause this decay; this is due to the cheese’s low carbohydrate content and the fact that it increases salivation.