Adopt a Latxa sheep of our flock "Etxelekua" in Urdax (Spain) and receive your harvest in the form of cured Latxa sheep cheese PDO Idiazabal at home. Ana Mari will take care of your adoption and take its picture. Also, you will be able to download the adoption certificate and, if you wish, plan your visit to the farm. As the production coming from one sheep is big, the adoption is shared among various people. If you wish to have a bigger share, you may adopt more than once. You do not enter into any long-term commitment: once you received your harvest and you enjoyed the experience, you may decide to renew and extend the adoption.
Adopt a Latxa sheep from our farm in Urdax (Spain). Our flock is made up of Latxa sheep, which means 'rough' in Basque, and it's precisely this type of wool that gave the breed its name. This wool allows the sheep to live comfortably in the Cantabrian climate, where rain and high humidity give us vegetation all year round. It's said to be one of the most primitive native breeds and, nowadays, Latxa sheep are found almost exclusively in the north of Navarra, the Basque Country and the French Basque area, where they're known as Manex. There are two types of Latxa sheep: dark-faced and blond-faced, which is what our flock is made up of. Their heads and limbs can be either red or white. Ewes don't tend to have horns, while the rams do. This breed of sheep is known for its rugged, rustic appearance and incredible capability to produce milk. A Latxa sheep can produce up to 200 litres of exceptional quality milk each year, allowing us to produce internationally acclaimed cheeses that have won numerous gold and silver medals in competitions such as the World Cheese Awards, Great Taste and the Lyon International Competition. Our cheeses are Idiazabal Protected Designation of Origin. The Idiazabal PDO was created in 1987 to protect the market reserved for the makers of this cheese and to guarantee its origin and quality for consumers. This certification verifies that raw milk from Latxa or Basco-béarnaise sheep has been used exclusively to make the cheese, among other quality indicators. Our farm, Etxelekua, is surrounded by green meadows where our sheep graze. In doing so, they play an important organic role: preserving the landscape of our natural surroundings by keeping the pastures free from weeds and protecting the environment. Therefore, their diet primarily consists of grass from the natural pastures, except in certain periods like lambing or milk-producing seasons when we supplement their diet with feed and whey, which is a by-product of cheese-making. This way, we avoid generating any waste. Our lambs are breastfed for the first month, after which we choose the lambs we want to keep for our flock (usually most of the ewes and a few rams). The rest are sold to a cooperative that sells them to other farms or to the meat market. The productive life of a Latxa sheep is around 8 years. For as long as you want to keep it and we can continue taking care of it, you can renew your adoption year after year. If your sheep dies, we will replace it with no additional cost and assuring the delivery of your production from other animals. Each sheep is adopted by 20 CrowdFarmers who receive a box with 1.4kg of cured Latxa sheep cheese PDO Idiazabal.
Each season we will send you a box with: 1 x __cured Latxa sheep cheese, PDO Idiazabal__ (1.4kg, wrapped in paper) Our cured cheese made with raw Latxa milk and natural rennet, aged for a minimum of six months, embodies all the subtle flavours of the spring milk, a result of the fresh grass the sheep feed on during this season. Our cheese has a sharp and pungent aroma (like mature sheep's milk) with a subtle hint of spice. It has a firm, semi-dry and not particularly stretchy texture, in fact, it's a little crumbly due to the curing process it goes through. The flavor of our cheese is balanced, with an initial sweet and clean initial taste, a powerful aroma, and a long-lasting aftertaste of spicy and salty notes. The cheese is round in shape, with a hard and smooth natural rind using no waxes or dyes. Its colour ranges from yellowish beige to grey, a result of the mould in the environment. The inside is straw-yellow, due to the high-fat raw milk used to make the cheese. We love to enjoy a chunk of our cheese with bread, nuts or even with a sweet touch of honey or jam to enhance its flavour, either as an aperitif or as a dessert. A good wine or beer also pair well. It's best enjoyed at room temperature, so take it out of the fridge a few minutes before serving. We recommend keeping it wrapped in a dry cotton cloth. This way, the cheese is protected from the elements but is able to breathe at the same time. Ideally, it should be stored in a cool and dry pantry wrapped in the same cloth, but if you don't have one, it's best stored in a fridge drawer. This will help the cheese last for up to six months.
When will you receive it?
We use the best quality spring milk to make our cheese, thanks to the fact that our sheep feed on pastures of fresh grass. After the cheese has been through a six-month curing process, we send it out in November.