Tete de Moine
Made near the Abbey of Bellelay, in the Swiss Alpes, Tête de Moine is a rich, firm cheese, made from sweet, Alpine milk. The milk is collected from less than ten village dairies in the Jura region, to be made into this exceptional cheese. Washed, brushed and matured on spruce boards for at least two and a half months, the cheese develops a meaty, savoury quality which perfectly balances the buttery sweetness of the mountain milk.
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Ingredients: Milk (Cow, Goat, Buffalo or Ewe’s Milk), Salt, Starter Culture, Rennet.
For allergens, please see ingredients.
This highly unusual cheese is made in the French speaking Canton of Bern, in Switzerland, and is traditionally served at Christmas time both here and abroad.
This cheese is graded from semi-firm to firm. It is made with unpasteurised cows milk coming form herds that graze on the lush mountain pasture lands in the Swiss Jura mountains. The milk is collected form fewer than 10 village dairies in that region.
Tête de Moine cheese has a straw coloured yellow paste beneath the sticky rind. The stickiness is the result of repeated brine washings throughout the two and a half to six month maturation period. This naturally rinded, cylindrical cheese received its name, meaning “Monk’s Head”, thanks to its original production by monks of the Bellelay Abbey.
It was discovered by soldiers, of the French Revolution, who expelled the monks from the abbey. The cheese is a heritage cheese, with the first mentions of it found in writings from 1292.
Tête de Moine cheese was traditionally cut on a Girolle, which is a circular wooden instrument, with a blade held at right angles to the cheeses surface. This shaved the cheese into petals. This process increases the air contact on the surface of the cheese, altering its body structure, and adding to its aroma. Today many people are happy to just cut into the cheese and experience its rich and distinctive sweet taste. It can also be melted in the same way as Raclette and served over new potatoes, Cornichons and cold meats.