January 8th—Fearlessly Archived—Still a fun read; price & availability may have changed.
This semi-soft cheese hails from Larceveau, France, in the heart of Basque country between Spain and France. Traditionally, shepherds used leftover curd to make cheeses small enough to carry with them as they drove their sheep through the varying terrain of the Basque countryside. Trader Joe's Mini Basque Cheese is our take on this classic sheepherder's cheese.
Made with 100% sheep's milk, our Mini Basque Cheese has a distinctive, rich aroma and a delicate, yet decidedly "sheep" flavor profile. Brined in a salt bath and ripened for 70 days, it's a little sweet, and a bit nutty. If you eat it cold, you'll find it firm, but if you allow it to warm up to room temperature, the texture becomes softer, the flavor richer, and the color leans towards light caramel. This is an excellent companion to our Fig Butter and Brioche Toasts, and makes a good partner to either of our Gourmet Combo Packs.
Trader Joe's Mini Basque Cheese is crafted in small, cylindrical wheels weighing 1.25 pounds. We cut the wheels in half, resulting in pieces of about 9-10 ounces each. We're selling it for $10.99 a pound.