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Etorki is a hard cheese from France produced at the Basque region of Pyrénées using pasteurized sheep’s milk. The cheese is ivory colored on the core, having an orange brown colored rind and possessing a smooth and fine texture with a buttery sweet taste with mixed nut flavors.

History of French Etorki

Etorki meaning "origin" in Basque has been made out of pasteurized milk of black- or red-headed Manech ewes or sheep at central Basque area in South West France since more than 4000 years.

Making of Etorki Cheese

The cheese is made by pulp pressing involving no cooking and is allowed to ripen for at least seven weeks. The ewes milk is curdled by heating and then pressing by cheese making masters. The curd is then cut and mixed in order to facilitate the elimination of whey. Thereafter the curd is set into perforated mold and then pressed mechanically to squeeze away extra whey. Then the cheese is brined for up to two hours, rubbed with salt and covered with cloths that were earlier soaked in brine. Etorki is allowed to ripen between seven and nine weeks and age for 3 or 6 months.

Popular Etorki Cheese Recipes

  • Grilled Duck Breast & Etorki Charcuterie Dish contains cheese slicing over duck breasts.
  • Etorki Stuffed Pork Loin includes etorki in the stuffing with seasonings and other ingredients.
  • Chocolate-Dipped Berries & Etorki Cheese is a dessert with cheese slices served alongside the berries.
  • Comforting Lentil & Etorki Casserole is a recipe where cut pieces of etorki is stirred into boiling vegetables along with other seasonings.
  • Fennel and Sun-Dried Tomato Tartlets with Etorki is a savory recipe with a topping of etorki.

Preferable Cooking Methods

Etorki can be grated as well as melted well. It can go well in salad and biscuit recipes and as toppings on meats or oven baked dishes.

A tradition among Basque shepherds has that the cheese must be given out with a topping of black cherry jam. It is commonly included in cheese platters and goes well in salads consisting of yellow apples or sweet pepper preserves.

Etorki Cheese Buying Tips and Consumption Criteria

The cheese comes in cylindrical shape with dimensions of about 25 centimeters diameter and 11 centimeters height. It can be found at stores all over the year.

Etorki is a recommended cheese for people with allergy towards cow’s milk. It is also an ideal substitute for Cheddar or Gouda cheeses in cooking.