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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.