Tête de Moine AOP
Cylindrical loaf of 10 to 15 cm diameter
Weight 0.7 to 0.9 kg
The cheese is scraped to fine rosettes by means of a girolle (scraper).
The geographical region includes the mountain area and the summer pastures enclosed therein, the districts of the Freiberge, Pruntrut, Moutier und Courtelary, the municipality Saulcy, as well as the parcel of land belonging to the cheese dairy Courgenay.
The Tête de Moine AOP/PDO, Fromage de Bellelay, is produced from raw milk. In summer, the milk cows are fed mainly on grass, in winter on hay. The administering of silage food is prohibited over the whole year. The milk must be processed within 24 hours after milking. It is caseated in a copper kettle. After pressing of the cheese curd the cheese loaf is tagged with a casein mark to ensure traceability and plunged into a salt water bath for at least 12 hours. During the maturing time the cheese is regularly treated with salt water. Each loaf must mature for at least 75 days on spruce plank in the geographical region.
Tête de Moine as designation has been known since about 1790. However, the cheese has a much longer history. Already in 1192 the monks in Bellelay Abbey were mentioned for their cheese for the first time. With the invention of the girolle by a Jurassian precision mechanic in 1981 a new chapter of the Tête de Moine history was initiated. Since the day it was introduced, it has been sold 2.5 million times.