Certified cheese expert Matt Caputo says:
We always offer Onetik Grand Cru Ossau-Iraty and sell it immediately upon arrival without aging in our cave. This rendition is very similar to an Italian style pecorino with hints of a Gruyere like style. It is amazing, but this week we are here to discuss a different rendition of the same cheese after it spends 6 months in our cheese cave.
There is not a single cheese in our cave that is more work or that gives us as much trouble as Ossau-Iraty, but when it is perfectly aged there is simply no better cheese in our case. Where the younger version is more akin to Mediterranean pecorino in flavor and texture, our reserve version become more like a super aged Alpine style cheese.
Once Ossau-Iraty reaches this advanced age the flavors and textures could not be more different than the original version. Crunchy protein crystals have formed, yet the paste breaks down with a buttery tahini like texture on the palate. The hints of Gruyere like flavors in the younger version are amplified ten fold and are akin to caramelized grass and wildflowers. Of course being a sheep's milk cheese their is a nice muskiness that you don't get with a classic Gruyere.
This week we have several wheels "à point," which is the French term for the point in time when a particular wheel of cheese is as perfect as it can get. Don't miss this cheese experience that is the perfect marriage of a French Basque classic and Utah affinage (professional cheese aging).