Ossau-Iraty is probably the least known 'Appelation d'Origine Controlee' (A.O.C) cheese. The Ossau-Iraty unites two regions of France in the Western Pyrénées: Ossau in the valley of the Bearn, and Iraty in the beech forests of the Pays Basque. The Ossau-Iraty is full of a delicious, nutty, robust taste if it is produced during the period from June to September when the herds move up to the high mountain meadows. Covered by a thick orange to grey rind, the pâte is white, supple and ceamy. It becomes more firm as the maturing period is longer. An artisan pate may have small holes and should not stick to the palate.
Red wine: Côtes-de-St-Mont (Tannat, Cab.-Sauvignon grapes) White wine: Irouléguy (Manseng, Courbu grapes)