Aia is one of Gipuzkoa’s largest municipalities and it forms the gateway to the Pagoeta Nature Reserve. If you had to choose a colour to define it, it would have to be the green that fills its forests, groves and meadows. Its varied tones contrast with the pale sheep that graze there, many of which gaze into the deep blue of the sea. To those familiar with this idyllic setting, it is not surprising that the milk produced here is used to make many types of exceptional cheeses. There are around half a dozen producers and they use only artisan methods.
Cheese is the result of the miracle of fermentation. The writer Isabel Allende said that cheese is nothing more than milk and bacteria, and all the rest is illusion. She wasn’t wrong. It is as simple as that: pasteurised or unpasteurised sheep, goat or cow’s milk, to which you add rennet, the digestive enzyme taken from the stomach of lactating cows, and different types of bacteria (lactococcus, lactobacillus, streptococcus) that cause acidification. The lactose ferments and the sugar in the milk turns into lactic acid, which in turn causes the separation of solid curd and liquid whey. Aia has the advantage of exceptional raw materials. Like with all cow products, every animal is different: their quality and the quality of the derived products depends on their breed, genetics, nutrition, the water they drink, the grass they eat, the surroundings they live in and the care of the farmers.
Visit of Orortegi Farmhouse where they make the cheese on traditional way with cheese tasting
The visit is at 12:00