A wonder of the Pyrenees
This thousand-year-old cheese made entirely from sheep milk originates from between the Ossau valley in Béarn and the Massif d’Iraty in the Basque country. It is a cheese that keeps well with a compact paste that crumbles after maturation. It has a fine, melting texture with milky flavours and a light taste of straw and hazelnut. Records show the presence of Ossau-Iraty in the markets of Toulouse in the first century and ever since this time it has been produced according to the same methods. Ossau-Iraty reflects the union of two regions, drawing the best of Ossau, a listed, lush-green valley with its splendid lakes and breath-taking scenery, and Iraty, lying between France and Spain, an area renowned for its majestic beech tree forests, the largest in Europe. It is against the backdrop of this idyllic landscape that the sheep undertake their transhumance each summer and offer this exceptional cheese.
Thinly sliced, it melts in the mouth
Soft and full of flavour, it embodies perfectly the culinary traduction of an entire region. The intricate lines sculpted into the crust evoke the pattern of the weaved baskets in which the cheese was once made. As for the sheep, they graze on the lush grass of the Pyrenees to provide a delicately fruity cheese. The maturation period lasts at least 4 months, during which time the cheese ripens and develops its unique flavours. the Petit Basque can be eaten thinly sliced on its own or, following the Basque tradition, with a helping of black cherry jam.