Bleu de Basque is a modern French blue cheese made from sheep’s milk.
The milk is “thermalized” but not pasteurized, then coagulated with calf rennet.
Two sizes of wheels are made, 11 pounds and 4 pounds (5 kg and 1.8 kg.) The 11 pound sizes are about 12 inches wide x 2.7 inches tall (30 cm x 7 cm.)
It is usually aged for a minimum of 65 days, up to 90 days.
The cheese is semi-firm, slightly crumbly, and is milder and less salty than other blue cheeses. It has bluish-grey veins, and a rind.
It is made in Macaye, in the Pyrénées (on the border between France and Spain.) The cheese makers formed a cooperative in the 1980s called Berria; the cheeses from the cooperative are now sold under the brand name of Onetik. Onetik created the Bleu de Basque cheese around 2001.
To serve, unwrap any plastic around it, and bring to room temperature. Drops of fat will “weep” on the surface: this is because sheep’s milk is higher in fat than cow’s milk.
1 cup, crumbled = ¼ pound = 115g