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Tete De Moine

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tete de moine cheese
Tete De Moine
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  • Raw
  • Animal Rennet
  • Age: 1-2 months
  • Cow Milk
  • Switzerland
  • Approachable
  • Soft

The fruity, full-bodied Tête De Moine dates back eight centuries, when it was first created by Swiss monks at the Abbey de Bellelay in the Jura Mountains. When cut using a girolle (a tool that scrapes thin shavings off the top of the cheese, forming flower shaped florets) the layers are whittled away to reveal a “bald spot” in the wheel—fitting for a cheese that’s name translates to the French for “monk’s head.” The cutting process releases the cheese’s intense, fruity aroma. Complement this cheese with equally flavorful Black Cherry Confit.

“I've always loved a cheese that bites back, and Tête de Moine has never disappointed. It’s strong and sweet, with a surprisingly fudgy texture. This “monk head” cheese from the Jura Mountains is traditionally shaved from a small two-pound wheel using a special cheese curler called a girolle. This method of thinly shaving the cheese helps release aroma compounds that contribute to flavor. Try it on a spinach salad with bacon, Granny Smith apples, and Marcona almonds.”
Murray’s Cheese Specialist – Portland, OR
Cow's Milk, Salt, Animal Rennet, Cultures

Allergens: Milk

  • Tête De Moine originated eight centuries ago, when it was first created by Swiss monks at the Abbey de Bellelay in the Jura Mountains along the French-Swiss border.
  • The recipe was shared with local farmers and then passed down through the generations.
  • Made from cow’s milk, the cheese is contained within a sticky, orange rind that is washed in brine.
  • The creamy, semi-hard paste is fruity and full-bodied, with a nutty flavor.
  • A girolle scraper is used to peel thin layers of the cheese, releasing aroma compounds in the process and making for a more flavor tasting experience. The process of scraping the cheese reveals a “bald spot” within the paste, not unlike the customary “tonsure” hairstyle of Bellelay monks.
  • It originally shared a name with its abbey of origin and was known as Bellelay.
  • It is believed that sometime around the French Revolution it was given its Tête De Moine moniker. How the name change came about is up for debate. Some say it was inspired by a tax levied by the abbey on local farmers; others say it refers to the resemblance to a monk’s tonsure once cut with a girolle.
  • Though it was traditionally made during the summer months, the cheese is now produced year-round.
  • Cows graze through local pastures during the spring, summer, and fall months. In winter, they are primarily fed hay.
  • No animal meal, hormones, or GMOs are used in the milk production process.
When you receive your cheese, unpack the order and refrigerate the items. We recommend using the cheese paper we send most of our products in to store the cheese. The cheese paper helps cover the items and stop them from drying out, while also allowing the cheese to breathe. Since cheese is mold, it's a living thing! If you cut off air circulation to the cheese, you can actually cause it to suffocate and spoil at a faster rate.

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