Friday, November 25, 2011


Inspired by her Basque sheep herding and cheesemaking heritage, Marcia Barinaga and her husband, Corey Goodman, purchased a farm in the rolling hills overlooking Tomales Bay in West Marin County. Their intention was to make Basque-style cheese with sheep milk from their own dairy. After attending a cheesemaking class in Vermont. Marcia and Corey accompanied Marcia's father on a trip to the Pyrenees to learn the secrets of cheesemaking from Basque masters. From here, the dream to make cheese in California began to unfold.

At Barinaga Ranch, the sheep graze on pasture all year long. Marcia has been crossbreeding their East Friesen sheep, which are known for their prolific milk production, with the hardy Katahdin, descendents of north African sheep.

Txiki, which means little in Basque, is a smaller version of Barinaga's original cheese, Basseri. The shape for Txiki is reminiscent of a Petit Basque. The flavor is sweet milk with a hint of salted, roasted walnuts. It is aged for sixty days. Available only from June through September.

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