We've compiled all the information you need to know to expand your knowledge about Bigel cheese. We hope you enjoy it as much as you do eating it.

Cheese Bigel

Cheese Bigel is a specialty cheese created by Ramón Lizeaga and Elkano 1 - Gaztagune. They have painstakingly renovated the cheeses, learning first-hand how they are made. The cheeses are produced by small artisanal producers, with a focus on those from Guipuzcoa and the Basque-French region. These cheeses are able to convey the unique identity of the territory where they are produced.

Under the guidance of Iker Izeta, they have been able to recover traditional Basque cheeses that were lost when Ramón Lizeaga was no longer making them. The cheeses are made from the milk of Lattoxa sheep, known for their rich and creamy milk. They are made using traditional methods and are coated with ashes or wrapped in a tender crust. One of their most popular cheeses is the Bigel (formerly known as Elur), which has gained recognition beyond Europe. Despite its different spelling, "Bigel" is pronounced almost the same as "bagel."

The Bigel cheese weighs around one kilogram and is made from pasteurized Latxa sheep milk. Its rind is gray due to the vegetable ash that is sprinkled on it during the cheese-making process. The cheese is aged for three to four weeks, but it can be consumed at a younger age as well. However, it is recommended to let it age for five to six weeks in order to fully develop its flavors and achieve a creamy texture.

During the aging process, the Roho Penicilium Candidi mold starts to colonize the crust, initiating a refining process and preventing the growth of undesirable strains. Initially, the cheese has a crumbly texture and a buttery, acidic, and slightly lactic taste. As the mold develops, its enzymatic power increases, leading to the production of different enzymes such as proteases. These enzymes break down the protein chains, resulting in the transformation of the cheese's texture from sandy to creamy.

To fully appreciate the nuanced flavors of Cheese Bigel, it is important to serve it at room temperature. It can be enjoyed with bread or toast as an appetizer, as part of a lunch or dinner, or on a cheese platter. Cheese Bigel pairs wonderfully with pear jam or rosemary honey, as well as with fresh fruits like peaches, nectarines, or sweet melons. For a perfect pairing, it is recommended to enjoy it with a mature and enveloping TXAKOLI de bizaune wine, which will enhance the flavors of both the cheese and the wine.

In conclusion, Cheese Bigel is a unique and delightful cheese created by Ramón Lizeaga and Elkano 1 - Gaztagune. Its craftsmanship, attention to detail, and commitment to preserving Basque cheese traditions make it a true gastronomic treasure.

✓ Spain