The cheese treat from the Jura.
Tête de Moine, literally monk’s head, is a cylindrical semi-hard smear cheese that weighs around 800 grams and has a very fine dough that melts a little in the mouth. It is not cut, but shaved into thin, twirly rosette shaped slices using a special knife such as the “Girolle” or the “Pirouette”. As it is shaved, the surface of the cheese that comes into contact with the air is increased. Firstly, this alters the structure of the cheese dough and, secondly, it helps the full aromatic, melt-in-the-mouth taste to develop. The monks in the Bellelay monastery in the modern-day Bernese Jura sliced their Tête de Moine cheese with the same kind of raised knife. According to religious tradition, the monks used the cheese as a means of payment as early as the 12th century.
The icing on the cake of every cheese board
Tête de Moine AOP gets its unforgettable taste from the mountain milk in its natural state. It is produced in less than ten village dairies in its region of origin according to the strict requirements set out in the AOP specifications. It is kept on spruce wood boards for at least two and a half months.
Cheese connoisseurs appreciate Tête de Moine AOP as the icing on the cake of every cheese board, as an aperitif, a dessert or a snack. Tête de Moine rosette slices are best cut straight from the fridge.
The grasses and herbs that grow so abundantly in the unspoilt landscape are what give Tête de Moine its distinctive character and unique taste. It was in this setting, in the Bellelay Monastery, that this cheese specialty was first created 800 years ago. Each Tête de Moine is a cylinder-shaped, semi-hard cheese weighing around 800 g on average. It is produced from natural, untreated milk from mountain cattle that are never fed on silage.
|Milk processing||Raw milk|
|Water content||35 %|
|Ripening period||2.5 - 3 months|
|AOP||Yes, Since 2001|
|Shape & colour||
Mixture: Ivory-coloured to light yellow (depending on time of the year)
Rind: Natural, firm, brown to reddish-brown
Loaf size: 700 - 900 g
|Peculiarity||Tête de Moine AOP should not be cut, but pared to form rosettes straight after being taken out of the refrigerator. It is recommended to use half a wheel and put it onto the Girolle for paring.|