Ossau-Iraty

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Ossau-iraty
Ossau-Iraty.jpg
Country of origin France
Region, town Northern Basque Country
Source of milk Ewe
Pasteurized No[1]
Texture Medium firm
Aging time 80 or 120 days minimum, by weight[2]
Certification AOC 1980

Ossau-iraty is a French cheese made from sheep milk.

Origin[edit]

Ossau-iraty is produced in south-western France, in the Northern Basque Country and in Béarn. Its name reflects its geographical location, the Ossau Valley in Béarn and the Irati Forest in the Basque Country.[3]

AOC status[edit]

It has been recognized as an appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) product since 1980. It is one of only two sheep's milk cheeses granted AOC status in France. (The other is Roquefort). Although Ossau-Iraty received AOC status in the 80s, it is of ancient origin, traditionally made by the shepherds in the region.[4]

Production[edit]

Production techniques are very much in the essence of old world methods whereby the sheep still graze mountain pastures. This is an uncooked cheese made through pressing. When offered as a farm-produced cheese (known as fromage fermier, fromage de ferme or produit fermier) the AOC regulations stipulate that only raw, unpasteurized milk be used.[5][6]

  • 3,067 tonnes (in 2003)
  • 60 producers (in 2003)
  • 8 manufacturers: private industries and cooperatives (in 1998)
  • 2,045 milk producers (in 1998)

Description[edit]

According to the official description, the cheese crust is yellow–orange to gray, and the body color ranges from white to cream depending on how it has been matured. It is smooth, creamy and firm, and may have some small eyes (openings).[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ossau-Iraty". 
  2. ^ "5.3. Fabrication et affinage du fromage" (PDF). Appellation d'Origine definition – Ossau-Iraty. Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité (INAO). 31 October 2011. "5.3.6 - La durée minimale d'affinage dans l’aire d’appellation est de 120 jours pour les fromages de 4 à 7 kg, et de 80 jours pour les fromages de 2 à 3 kg." 
  3. ^ Anthony Peregrine (July 20, 2002). "France: Hard cheese for losers in the war of the noses". Daily Telegraph. Ossau-Iraty. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  4. ^ Fletcher, Janet (2003-01-09). "Ossau-Iraty an earthy delight from France's Basque region". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ "2. Description du produit" (PDF). Appellation d'Origine definition – Ossau-Iraty. Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité (INAO). 31 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Fletcher, Janet (2006-02-23). "Factories make sheep's milk taste sweet". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  7. ^ "2. Description du produit" (PDF). Appellation d'Origine definition – Ossau-Iraty. Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité (INAO). 31 October 2011. "La pâte a une couleur variant du blanc ivoire au crème ambré en fonction de l’affinage. Elle est lisse, ferme à onctueuse. Elle peut présenter quelques ouvertures de petite taille. La croûte présente une couleur allant du jaune orangé au gris."