A handmade, unpasteurized cheese made from the milk of the Latxa or Carranza sheep in the Basque Country and Navarre. It is a pressed cylindrical cheese with a hard, natural rind ranging from pale yellow to amber. It is often, but not always, wood-smoked.
It is aged from two months onwards and as it matures, the texture becomes firmer, with older cheeses being suitable for grating. The interior has small holes throughout and the colour ranges from pale yellow to beige or brown. The flavour is nutty and buttery with a hint of caramel in the smoked versions.
It can be enjoyed on its own with membrillo and apples and is good simply melted on toast.