Named after the nearest geographical landmarks in that part of the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains, the Ossau Valley and Iraty Forrest, Ossau-Iraty is a silken sheep's milk cheese. The cheese is an A.O.C. product made by the Onetik Cooperative, consisting of hundreds of local farmers. Although they have a large operation, they are focused on artisanal and traditional methods. Ossau-Iraty is aged for a minimum of 90 days, but more commonly around 6 months. During aging, it develops a gorgeous edible rind and a subtle but distinctive and interesting flavor profile that is both floral and herbaceous.
This cheese is one of our most popular cheeses in the shop and was the first cheese that owners John and Kendall Antonelli knew they wanted to carry!
Sweet, nutty, and lightly earthy, this rich cheese is a crowd-pleaser that can stand up to pretty much any beer, wine, or booze you can throw at it. Sheep's milk has the highest butterfat content, so take care not to let this cheese get up to temperature unless you plan to eat it soon, as it will start to leach and "sweat" its beautiful oils. Pair with preserves, either savory or sweet, with a few slices of salami on the side.
Picture credits @ producer