A 4,300 Euro Cheese!

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Spain is known for its gastronomic tradition of producing a wonderfully varied selection of artisanal cheeses.

One such cheese is D.O. Queso Idiazabal, which is produced on either sides of the Sierra de Aralar Mountains in Navarre and Basque Country (Guipuzcoa).

Ever since I first tasted this sheep’s milk cheese, made with milk from the native Latxa and Carranzana sheep breeds, I have been hooked – and particularly due to the fact that for the last few years, I have been a judge at the Queso Idiazabal competition that is held annually in the town of Uharte Arakil in Navarre at the end of August.

This contest, which takes place in conjunction with the town’s Shepherd’s Day celebration is open only to Idiazabal cheeses made in Navarre, with the winning cheese being auctioned off for a large sum which is then reinvested in the local shepherd’s association.

This year’s competition took place yesterday, and after an exhaustive tasting of approximately 25 cheeses, shepherd Ricardo Remiro’s cheese was declared the winner and auctioned off for 4,300 Euros!

For a closer look at how Queso Idiazabal is made and where to find it, check out this route: Following the Scent of Queso Idiazabal on Foods from Spain.

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