These classic French Brebis or sheep's milk cheeses are made in the province of Bearn in the southwest corner of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Local farmers still adhere to the ancient practice of "Transhumance", or the transfer of livestock from the lowlands in the winter, to lush mountain pastures in the summer. Marie-Jose of Les Bergers du Haut-Bearn collects young cheeses from these farmers and ages them in her cave built into the former stables of the Chateau du Porthos, home of Isaac of Portau, French Guard and Musketeer. Mary-Jo's rich Ossau-Iraty designated brebis are made with the milk of Basco-Bearn sheep that graze on complex pastures of grasses, herbs and flowers including Alpine Clover and Thyme. The paste of these 7 month-old cheeses is smooth and rich, not strong or pungent, but with a complex, sweet nuttiness and gentle herbal note. Pair Brebis du Haut-Bearn with the local jams made from fresh black cherries and (if you like) a dash of spicy Piment d'Espelette.


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