Sunday, December 11, 2005


This classic dairy product is a very popular semi-hard cheese from Switzerland. It is made with unpasturized milk coming from cow’s which only graze outside in green pasturelands from spring till autumn. “Tête de Moine” is made in the Franches Montagnes, Moutier and Courtelary in the Jura region (Northwestern Switzerland). This cheese was invented 800 years ago by the monks from the Bellalay monastery.

“Tête de Moine” which can be translated to “Monk’s Head” in English, carries well it’s name as it looks similar to a Cistercian monk’s head with the top hair shaven off! This cheese has a cylindrical shape and, compared to all other cheeses, it should never be simply cut into slices, but instead, it should be scraped. In order to eat it, the top should be cut off and the sides cleaned of all crust. Then, with the help of a tool called “Girolle”, the cheese is scraped in order to make elegant rosettes. The “Girolle” was invented by a mechanic from Lajoux who had the wits to create this very useful tool which comes in very handy when you want to enjoy “Tête de Moine”…
With a colour ranging from ivory white till pale yellow, this spicy cheese has a lot to offer. It is a cheese for gourmets as it’s flowery taste and it’s delicate soft creamy texture are matchless. “Tête de Moine” gets stronger in flavor with age, so it’s spiciness depends on how long it is left to mature.

"Tête de Moine" is one of those Swiss delicacies which I highly recommend you to taste if ever you travel to Switzerland or find it in your own country.

(Tête De Moine & Girolle -Pic by
(Tête De Moine -Pic by

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