A side-perk of progressing through the UIMLA scheme is having to revise / learn about moutain culture in the areas that the Summer and Winter training and assessment courses take place. I’ve interpreted that learning requirement as free reign to learn lots about the local cheeses. Learning by consumption 😉 Luckily for me @porterbrookdeli are helping by looking out for any interesting Pyrenean cheeses that their suppliers import. Ossau-Iraty (or Esquirrou) arrived the other day. It is produced in SW 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. // It has been recognized as an appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) product since 1980, and is one of only two sheep’s milk cheeses granted AOC status in France (the other is Roquefort). It is of ancient origin, traditionally made by the shepherds in the region. Production techniques are very much old world methods whereby the sheep still graze mountain pastures. The milk must come from the breeds Basco-béarnaise, Red-face Manech, or Black-face Manech. This is an uncooked cheese made through pressing. When offered as a farm-produced cheese, AOC regulations stipulate that only raw, unpasteurized milk be used. // 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. // Currently available at Porter Brook Deli 🧀

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