French,  Savoury

Ossau Iraty and black cherry chutney

I haven’t started talking in tongues; this is the name of a delicious cheese from the Basque region. So delicious, in fact, that it was named ‘Best Cheese in the World’ at the World Cheese Awards 2011. It is nicest served at room temperature with black cherry chutney.
I last enjoyed it just the other day, at the top of a mountain in 30 degree heat, surrounded by 30 ten-year-olds. And it was delicious nonetheless 😉 ! We were on a school trip to the pyrenees, a somewhat long but very enjoyable day. Well, apart from the bit where the coach had to reverse down a tiny mountain road, negociating no fewer than EIGHT hairpin bends backwards. I’m not that cool on tiny mountain roads in a car going forwards, so I’ll leave it to you to imagine the state I was in after this little escapade. There’s always a plus side though, and in this case it was that the children were actually SILENT for the time of the manoeuvre. They also derived much amusement from the fact that their teacher inadvertently let slip a four-letter word (or French equivalent thereof) in sheer terror.
As you can see, I didn’t take a photo of the cheese and chutney. But I did take one of a ‘typical Frenchman going for a picnic in the mountains’!
To make the black cherry chutney:
300g black cherries
1cm fresh grated ginger
Pinch of cinnamon
Black pepper
60g of cane sugar
2 tbls white vinegar
Heat the cherries and sugar in a casserole for just under five minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon and black pepper and continue to heat for another five minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until the mixture starts to congeal. Leave to cool before serving.


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