Regional products

Tête de Moine AOP

Tête de Moine AOP is a cheese with a tradition dating back many centuries and owes its origin in Bellelay. The cheese is cut into very thin rosettes with a “girolle”.

Cheese factory Spielhofer
Cheese factory Spielhofer. © Parc régional Chasseral
A unique flavour born of a long tradition
Eating a Tête de Moine AOP is an art in itself. This cheese is not cut into pieces but is shaved; in the past this was done with a knife but nowadays a girolle is used. Legend has it that the monks of Bellelay Abbey shaved off the surface of the cheese with a knife when they wanted to eat the cheese in secret. At that time they noticed that its taste was even better when the cheese was eaten in the form of shavings. This method is now reproduced by the girolle; it heightens the flavour of the cheese and the rosettes melt in the mouth.
A high quality product, the Tête de Moine AOP is made using traditional methods in village cheese dairies. The cheese-makers use superior quality raw milk from cows which have grazed on meadows covered with mountain grasses. The cheese is then matured for at least 75 days on spruce planks during which time it is brushed and turned at regular intervals.

Discover Tête de Moine AOP
If you ask at the Maison de la Tête de Moine AOP, you can watch the old-style method of making the cheese in a large copper vat, just as it was at the time of the monks. The guided tours of the cheese dairies in Noirmont, St-Imier and Saignelégier also enable the visitor to see the modern method of making Tête de Moine AOP.
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Child with Tête de Moine
Child with Tête de Moine. © Guillaume Perret
Maison de la Tête de Moine
Maison de la Tête de Moine
Tête de Moine tasting
Tête de Moine tasting. © Guillaume Perret
Cheese factory Spielhofer
Cheese factory Spielhofer. © Parc régional Chasseral
Cheese factory Spielhofer
Cheese factory Spielhofer. © Parc régional Chasseral
Maison de la Tête de Moine, cauldron
Maison de la Tête de Moine, cauldron. © Guillaume Perret

Guided tours of cheese dairies

Delve into over 800 years of cheese making history and flavours by discovering the history of the famous Tête de Moine cheese.

The Cheese Dairy Saignelégier was founded in 1995. With the new building our cheese specialists have...

From the farm to the cheese dairy

The Spielhofer cheese factory is a family business that produces, among other things, the famous Tête de Moine.