The Izar Tomme des Pyrénées is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from the Pyrénées region of France that requires at least 21 days of maturation before being consumed. It’s covered in a distinctive black wax covering which functions as a seal, keeping the air out and therefore stopping the maturation process.
This cheese has a rubbery texture and a buttery, salty, earthy taste with subtle sour hints and notes of mushrooms, garlic, onions, and peanuts that emerge once the cheese has melted in the mouth.
The Izar Tomme de Pyrenees Semi-hard Cows Cheese melts well over low heat, and is a refreshing alternative to the standard cheddar or Swiss cheese to use in your sandwiches and burgers. To best complement its bold flavor, pair it with Pyrénées wines or strong ales.
It was formerly solely made for personal consumption by small farmers in the 12th century, and could be made from three different types of milk: cow, goat, and ewe. It was eventually also consumed by the aristocracy of Saint-Girons, as well as King Louis VI of France. Only in the nineteenth century did the cheese-making process become more professional, but it was still done by hand.
Cheeses (except brined ones in jars) should be stored in the crisper or the butter drawer of a refrigerator, not on the shelves themselves. This is to help regulate their temperature and humidity levels—and prevents the formation of mold. Once opened, they should not be kept in their original packaging. Hard cheeses should ideally be wrapped in cheese paper after opening. An alternative is to wrap them tightly in parchment paper to allow them to breathe. Moisture is not as big a problem for hard cheeses as it is for other kinds, but don’t forget to write up a label with the date you first opened the package and to replace the parchment paper every time you open the cheese. Kindly pay attention to the best before date label when you receive your cheese. Consume prior to the date indicated.