Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Product Review: Istara: Ossau-Iraty Cheese

Ossau-Iraty is a French cheese made using sheep's milk. Most websites I've looked at refer to it as ewe's milk, but then don't say that goat cheese comes from nanny's milk. So I'll defy convention and call it sheep's milk. Ossau-Iraty can only be made in the French Pyrénées Mountains, just like the P'tit Basque I tried a while back.[1] In fact, it's name comes from the two regions it is produced: the Ossau Valley (which is in the French province of Béarn) and the Iraty Valley (which is in the French province of Iparralde), where it has been made for at least a thousand years.[2] It also requires the milk of specific breeds of sheep: Manech and Basco-Bearnaise.[3]

My verdict: Definitely a stronger cheese than the P'tit Basque (which is made by the same company [4]). I thought it was also slightly rubberier in texture. While this cheese wasn't disgusting [5], it was a little too sheepy for my taste. The Wikipedia article for this cheese [6] says the rind is edible, but I found it not to be so (so cut it off before eating).


[1] Read my review of that cheese here.

[2] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossau-Iraty#Origin.

[3] See http://www.cowgirlcreamery.com/prodinfo.asp?number=OSSAU.

[4] Presumably this was to have a milder sheep cheese on the market that would be a "gateway cheese" into stronger sheep cheeses, like this one.

[5] On the other hand, the plums which I picked to eat with this cheese were completely mushy and disgusting.

[6] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossau-Iraty#Description.

No comments:

Post a Comment