Etorki, meaning “origin” in Basque language, is a pasteurised sheep’s milk cheese made in French Basque region of the Pyrénées. The milk used to make this cheese is sourced from local black-faced or red-faced Manech ewes (adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe) herded by local shepherds and dairy farmers. It takes six gallons of ewe’s milk to produce one wheel of Etorki.
Cheese making in the Pyrenees region has been following a tradition that has remained unchanged for the last 4000 years. It requires the cheese to be pulp pressed but not cooked and slowly matured for a period of three to six months.
Etorki has a rusty, bumpy rind because of the molds formed during pressing. The smooth, supple and velvety interior is a consistent white with occasional holes or slits. It has a sweet and earthy aroma suggestive of the caramel flavours released by the pressed and aged sheep’s milk.
Pair Etorki with chardonnay, riojas or traditional, sparkling white wines.