Ossau Iraty

(c) AANA - Isabelle Rozenbaum
Where to find this product?

In supermarkets, on markets and from cheese shops throughout the region. Discover the Ossau-Iraty cheese rout at

When to find it? All year round
Contact Syndicat de défense de l'appellation d'origine du fromage Ossau-Iraty
Maison Apezetxea
Tél : 05 59 37 86 61
Mail :
Site internet :

Ossau-Iraty cheese is a traditional cheese from Béarn and Basque made from ewe’s milk. Production is carried out during the winter and spring and may continue into summer for some of the cheeses. It’s the only A.O.P. cheese producer from the pyrénées. It is a so-called ‘ageing’ cheese (with a long ripening period), and it can be stored for a long time. If it is whole, it can be stored in a suitable place for several weeks, without deteriorating at all. If sliced, simply wrap it with cling film or a damp cloth and store in a cool place.

It is best taken out of the fridge at least 1 hour before eating so it is served at room temperature. During the summer livestock migration, shepherds in the High Basque and Béarn valleys also produce ‘summer’ cheeses with traditional flavours.

Different types of Ossau-Iraty cheeses:

It is produced and sold by several players in the industry, offering a rich and comprehensive range of Ossau-Iraty ‘crus’.

  • Farm producers (almost 120) offer an Ossau-Iraty fermier variety, produced from UNPASTEURISED MILK in a BASQUE style (each cheese weighing 2 to 3 kg with a varying grey to orange-yellow rind); or BEARN style (a larger cheese weighting 4 to 5 kg that is softer and often with a more orange rind).
  • Dairies and cooperatives (ten) offer a dairy Ossau-Iraty under a specific brand name. Milk comes from milk producers (so-called delivery producers) who supply ewe’s milk capable of being turned into Ossau-Iraty. Milk is either heat treated before manufacturing or for some transformed unpasteurised. This is on the increase each year.
  • Finally manufacturers offer a fermier or dairy Ossau-Iraty .All are subject to official specifications and quality controls which ensure that traditional methods are employed along with the organoleptic quality of the Ossau-Iraty.