A sunny Good Friday morning saw Basque Experiences and a couple of North American friends visit the fantastic cheese and honey makers in Izoria.
A clear spring day with fresh air all around is a sure whey… to get the senses sharpened up.
Leire and her family live on the farm where they make award-winning Idiazabal Cheese. Using only the milk from their bred and reared flock of Basque Latxa sheep, they press, salt (with local salt from the Salinas de Añana), and cure this marvelous product.
Donning our hairnets, shoe covers and flattering plastic overalls, our visit saw us see the process from the separation of the curds and whey, the pressing and the storing of this most iconic of Basque products. A carefully monitored curing process ensures that the cheese available to the public is of the highest, and award-winning quality. However, its not all about the Gazta (cheese in Basque…)
Leire’s family are also the proud owners of thousands of honey-bees who lovingly pollenate the flowers of the Valley of Ayala and the Sierra Salvada, which separates Burgos from Alava. The result is a delicious,’chewy’ caramel-coloured honey which accompanies the Idiazabal like you wouldn’t believe!! Of course, any visit to Leire would be incomplete with a drop or two of the fantastic Beldui Txakoli, produced further down the valley by Rosa and her family closer to Llodio!
A great start to the weekend!