Cheese Information

Ossau-Iraty

Origin

France

Milk Type

Unpastuerized

Animal

Sheep

Rind

Natural

Firmness

Firm

About

Ossau-Iraty is a firm, sheep’s-milk cheese that is produced in south-western France in the Northern Basque Country and in Béarn. It is one of only two sheep’s milk cheeses granted AOC status in France, aside from Roquefort. Although Ossau-Iraty received AOC status in the 80s, it is of ancient origin, traditionally made by the shepherds in the region. Ossau-Iraty is mainly produced from the milk of Manech ewes. The cheese needs to mature for at least 90 days to develop its nutty flavour.

Taste Notes

Ossau Iraty is a very flavourful cheese which lends itself to tasting on a cheese platter or eating with a meal. The ivory-hued paste is supple and creamy when young and becomes more firm as the cheese ripens. Ossau-Iraty often has small eyes (holes) in the paste. The creamy paste should not stick to the palate. Ossau-Iraty is creamy and buttery in the mouth with flavors of nuts, fruits and herbs.

Pairings

This cheese pairs well with wines such as Sauvignon Blancs, a Madirans, or Merlots.

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