Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monk's Head Cheese

As a fan of any food that requires its own accessory to serve it properly, I must report on Tete de Moine - the cheese that literaly translates to "Monk's Head". It is a Swiss cheese that is purchased in cylindrical blocks that apparently remind the more creative cheese conniseurs of the shaved head of a monk. Or maybe it's the way that the cheese is shaved off of the block, reminding the less creative of shaving the head of a monk.

In order to properly serve the Tete de Moine, it must be shaved into airy thin strips on a device known as a Girolle. The cylinder is placed in the middle of the girolle & the scraper along the axle of the device enables you to shave off thin pieces. Ideally, in the hands of a gifted girolle user (which means "in the hands of someone other than myself"), the tool can be used to create flowers of cheese.

Bearing a striking resemblance to carnations, the edible flowers are a delight, if not an effort. Thankfully, the woman behind the cheese counter knew what to do, created these lovely "fleurs" and packed them in a plastic container for me. Certainly a more agreeable snack than monastery lunchmeat.


Cathy said...

I would love to try this! I'll have to hit the local cheese shop to see if they have any.

Sonia said...

never knew such cheese before..

taste traveller said...

Cathy: Good luck! I'd be interested to know if you find (& like) it.

Sonia: I had never heard of it until a few years ago. A friend was so thrilled by it. If you have the Girolle, it can be very social like fondue.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I like the way this cheese looks. It's beautiful shaved into thin ribbons like that and I'll bet it's yummy too.

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