I have come to love great cheese. Not the ordinary Monterey jack, colby longhorn, and mozzarella (not that I have anything against any of those), but I’m referring to the off the wall, funky, unique cheese found in specialty cheese shops in our far away travels. It may be no surprise to those who know me, I always seem to find myself in food stores, kitchen shops, and gourmet venues of all kinds on my travels near and far, locally and abroad, this country and others. It’s on these jaunts that I often run across new product and foods.
On one such adventure I was introduced to Tete de Moine, and a special cutter called a girolle or cheese curler. This lovely cheese has an intense flavor, and it’s experience and taste is heightened by the act of carving it into thin flowerettes.
During a cheese tasting dessert course one evening, my astute friend, Dave, (always one to ask the more obscure interesting questions), inquired of my favorite cheeses. Tete de Moine was among my favorites I mentioned. Dave, being Dave, somehow took note of that… found it… and brought it to our home. Do I have great friends or what?!
When he mentioned he had acquired Tete de Moine, I was quick to order from Germany this Girole (cheese curler) so that a we could fully enjoy the experience. And enjoy we did. It was absolutely fabulous. Every bit as good as I remembered. Thank you, Dave. You’re awesome!
Tete de Moine cheese is being made since eight centuries. It is believed that the monks staying at Moutier the mountainous zone of the Bernese Jura in Canton of Bern (Switzerland) manufactured this cheese. And hence the cheese takes the name ‘Tete de Moine’ meaning ‘Monk’s Head’.
The cheese is made from cow’s milk and half-cooked or half-hard pressed paste. The cheese develops its scented flavours effectively only when it is scrapped. So, to enjoy the best taste, a tool called ‘Girolle’ was invented in 1982. A scraper attached to the central axis of the apparatus makes scrapping the cheese easier!