Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Flirty Bachelor Guy

FERME ELIZAREA
Alain & Andre Etchepare
St. Etienne de Baigorri
05 59 37 44 55

As described previously, our host at this farm was a young bachelor who ran the farm with his brother and he was quite pleased to have two young women to talk to. This was about the sixth farm we saw that day, and I think we had also visited a winery, so we were a bit punchy at this point. Their cheesemaking process seemed to follow the same general pattern as the other cheesemakers we had visited. Their cheese is AOC Ossau-Iraty.

The Make
They make cheese every other day in batches of about 400L of milk. They add the rennet (chymosin) and wait 45 minutes before cutting the curd. The cheese is pressed 4 to 5 hours per wheel of cheese. The cheese is brined for 10 hours/kg. They brush the wheels with butter if they crack during the aging process.

The Farm
They have about 200 Manex sheep, which produce 2L of milk per day. The sheep are milked from December to June and taken to the mountain pastures for the summer. They milk 12 sheep at a time in their parlor.


The Cheese
rind: grey-brown rind, white mold
pate: small holes
flavor: buttery, nutty, sweet
mouth-feel: chalky, dry texture

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