Known as the 'son of the Pyrenees', is made in the north-eastern part of the mountains of Navarre, in the seven municipalities that make up the Roncal Valley
(Uztárroz, Isaba, Urzainqui, Garde, Vidángoz, Burgui and Roncal).
The cheese-making season runs from December to July
, which is the lambing season. It is an artisan cheese made from the raw milk of Rasa and Latxa sheep, rennet and salt. It has a cylindrical shape, raw edges and a hard, thick natural rind that can range in colour from reddish brown to bluish grey.
Its unusual flavour is robust, well defined and very buttery with a slightly piquant touch
. Although there are recipes that feature Roncal cheese, the best way of tasting it is just as it is, accompanied by a good wine.
One suggestion for cheese-lovers is to visit Roncal during the festivals in honour of the Virgin Mary in August to enjoy the exhibition/fair of Roncal cheeses. You can also visit the Cheese Museum
in Uztárroz and learn all about the cheese-making process there.