Barinaga Ranch: Cheesemaking tradition from Basque Country to West Marin
Ella Lawrence, on Bay Area Bites, recently visited Barinaga Ranch, where she learned a bit about both the cheese and Marcia Barinaga - even a little family history. I think we'll all agree that she had a good time:
Barinaga herself traveled to the Basque country for the first time at age 12, and has since returned five times. “My family there doesn’t speak English, and I don't speak Basque, so we communicate in Spanish--which they speak well, and I speak poorly," she says. "There's a limit to the degree we know each other, but there's love and a great affection.”
And so it was these shepherding cousins that Barinaga turned to when she decided to try her hand at cheesemaking. Shepherding is synonymous with cheesemaking in the Basque country--it would be unheard of to have sheep there and not make cheese from their milk.