Ossau Iraty AOP
Heavily steeped in tradition, this firm sheeps cheese is one of the few made with ewe's milk in France to receive Appellation d'origine Contrôlée designation. For centuries, herds of Manech and Basco-béarnais sheep have enjoyed the region's lush terroir, part of the ancient practice of transhumance - that is, the moving of livestock from one grazing area to another in a seasonal cycle. Today, production centers around several major co-operatives who draw their supply from smaller farms and dairies. Approximately one hundred of these are farmstead producers, distinguished by the embossed ewes head on the rind - indicating that this Ossau Iraty was made directly on the farm by the shepherd himself, using raw milk from his own herd.
Aged for a minimum of 120 days, Ossau offers up a smooth texture with fine granulation beneath a firm, natural brown rind. Nutty, with a touch of sweetness, Ossau finishes off with pleasant notes of cellar and grass and a mild acidity, typical of sheep’s milk from this region.
Pair your Ossau with a classic black cherry jam or quince jelly to enjoy in the traditional way - or crumble into a fresh salad this summer for a bright and creamy finishing touch.