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Petit Espelette

Who: Onetik Cooperative 

Where: Macaye, France

Milk: Sheep, pasteurized 

Rind: natural

Texture: hard

Shape: 10lb small wheel

Flavor: pungently peppery

Petit_espelette

Onetik is a large cooperative of more than 400 farms in the French Pyrenees. While not small, they practice traditional cheesemaking methods that yield more than 60 varieties of cheese from centuries-old Ossau Iraty AOP and Brebis to “modern” experiments such as this sheep’s milk cheese heavily infused with pimento pepper.

The cheese is aged three months and is not meant to be aged further.

It’s a hard, dry yet somewhat oily cheese. Flavor is rich with pimento and even a slight bit of heat, both dominating any sheepy elements. Paired with quince and a tart red, it’s a nice bite.

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