Tete de Moine means 'monk's head'. This Swiss gourmet cheese was originally invented by the monks of Belleray Abbey in the Bernese Jura, and they taught the local farmers how to make it.
Unlike most other mountain gourmet cheeses which tend to be very large, it is made in small drums. The rind may be smooth and slightly greasy, or rough and brown in color. The paste is firm and creamy to straw-yellow in color, darkening as it ages. There may be small holes or horizontal fissures in the paste.
Older Tete de Moine cheeses smell strongly of roasted nuts with wine-like aromas. The flavor is sweet and tangy, with musty wood mold and nuts.
Tete de Moine can be sliced, but to get the frilly curls of cheese traditionally served in Switzerland you will need to use a cheese curler or girolle. The curls are achieved by turning the handle of this special knife on a stand and shaving the cheese across the top and a little way down the sides.
If you want to buy the cheese and the curler together, please click here.
Ingredients: part-skim cow's milk, cheese culture, salt enzymes.