This tasty product of Alpine dairy art comes from the oldest Swiss culture, which is served in petals: delicate and very tasty, they are used to complete an aperitif or to garnish risottos, salads …
How to collect a flower and savor his petals. So is the Tete De Moine, Swiss cheese with an intense aroma and a unique feature in the world: to taste it you do it in petals. Delicate, crumbly and at the same time very tasty, the petals of Tete De Moine they are ornamental and fun to obtain (even directly on the table with the dedicated tool, the characteristic girolle or pirouette). S.i serve as aperitif or appetizer together with grapes, dried figs or honey, or you can use them to complete savory pies, tartlets, canapés, soups, risottos, fresh or warm salads. In a release of perfumes, which inebriate the taste buds, just like a freshly picked flower.
A centuries-old history
The birth of the Tete De Moine dates back to XII century at the hands of the monks of Jura (who soon also used it as ranchers' compensation to landowners or even as a currency of exchange). The name, if we want to translate it literally, means "Head of a monk", in allusion to head shaving. Second the legend, the particular way of cutting it is due to a hungry monk, who to steal the cheese secretly he leafed through his brothers with a small knife. Only later was the girolle.
To learn about this ancient history, during a sunny spring day, you can go to the Bellelay monastery in Switzerland, where the glory of the Tete De Moine It began. Immersed in a green casket, the museum housed by the monastery is not very large but is an excellent introduction to the more than one-hundred-year tradition of this cheese.
An Alpine Dop
The nobility of the Tête de Moine lies not only in its history of eight centuries, but also in the production process, still faithfully respected by milk producers, in small artisan dairies (less than a dozen between Canton of Jura and the Bernese Jura) and by the refiners who produce it. Based on raw milk is whole cow the Tete De Moine has shape cylindrical, dark yellow paste and a texture that makes it ideal for scraping and the Fondue. Its flavor is due to mountain milk with which it is produced and aged for at least two and a half months on special spruce boards.
Today modern technology has facilitated the work of artisans, but the production phases (regulated by the disciplinary of a rigorous DOP) have remained the same as they once were. Starting with the feeding of the cows, of course: the PDO (Aop in Switzerland) in fact requires that these be brought grazing (between 700 and 1,300 meters) from spring to autumn, while in winter they feed exclusively on hay from the same pastures where they spent the summer. There are three varieties: Dop Classic, Dop Reserve and Dop Bio.
To serve it
Tête de Moine can also be bought in Italy in supermarkets and delicatessens (or online). Cheese is often sold with one plastic girolle. For a more assiduous and refined service you can buy details (in some household items or always online) girolle with wooden or marble base: all are equipped with a horizontal blade that rotates on the surface of the cheese and a central pin to insert into the mold.