Our secrets of making Basque cheeses

Exceptional cheeses

Agour launched the first raw milk Ossau-Iraty in 2003.

Raw milk is a sensitive product. Agour has set up extremely demanding specifications for its producers. The storage of fodder in silage - under tarpaulins - which favors fermentation and the development of lactic or pathogenic bacteria in the milk, is prohibited. Ewes are fed with fodder dried naturally in the open air. The milk collected daily is traced and analyzed by the laboratory.

« Scandal at the Elysée »

One day, a minister from the Basque country was surprised to see that no sheep's cheese was ever served on the Elysée trays... A "mistake" quickly repaired by the Cheesemonger on rue du Bac, in Paris, who placed the first orders... The story could have ended there!

But one day, Jean Etxeleku found that the cheeses ready to be sent to the capital were a little pale... What could he do to make them look better? He had the idea of brushing them with Espelette pepper puree, as he had seen it done on Bayonne Ham. At first puzzled, the Elysée cheese maker tasted and swore by these cheeses with their colorful and fragrant rind which seduced the guests... Today, Espelette Pepper is the only non-cheese additive authorized by the Ossau-Iraty PDO.

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