Tête de Moine AOP

The delicious cheese from the Jura, savoured in delicate rosettes.

Tête de Moine AOP (“monk’s head”) is a cylindrical, semi-hard cheese weighing around 800 grams (almost 2 pounds) with a silky body that easily melts in your mouth.
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One of its characteristics is that it is not cut, but pared – using a device such as the Girolle or Pirouette – to make delicate rosettes. This increases the amount of air that comes into contact with the surface of the cheese, altering the structure of its body and allowing the full flavour of the cheese to develop. This paring, using a blade held at right angles to the surface, is effectively the same method as that used by the monks of Bellelay abbey – who used the cheeses as a form of payment as far back as the 12th century.

Strict controls

Tête de Moine AOP owes its unmistakable taste to the natural mountain milk that goes into it. Fewer than ten village dairies in the region of origin make the cheese according to the strict AOP (Registered designation of origin) specifications. The cheese is then aged for about three months on pine boards.

Crowned with a rosette

Connoisseurs serve Tête de Moine AOP as the highlight of a cheese board, or as the ideal accompaniment to an aperitif. It also makes an exquisite dessert cheese – as well as a tasty snack between meals. The rosettes are most easily formed when the cheese is well chilled.


Explore the over 800-year history of the Tête de Moine AOP as you discover a whole new world here at the Tête de Moine AOP cheese dairies. Our interactive exhibits will awaken your senses to the mysteries of this unique speciality and give you an insight into our production and tradition. The smelling samples will remind you of the typical fragrances of our mountains and you’ll learn about the secrets of the Tête de Moine through picture and sound. A magic Girolle and a drawing workshop provide for some extra variety. At the Tête de Moine museum in Bellelay and at the abbey you’ll learn more about our over 800 years of fascinating history. Of particular interest to our visitors is the actual production of our cheeses (historical and on request in Bellelay) and, of course, the cheese tasting itself.

Domaine de Bellelay
Case postale 19
2713 Bellelay
Tel. +41 (0)32 484 03 16

Visiting the village dairies

The following dairies welcome visits from groups, by appointment. For reasons of hygiene, access to the production area is limited, but visitors will be shown an informative video film before a tasting of the cheese.

Fromagerie St. Imier, Josef Spielhofer,
Tel. +41 (0)32 940 17 44,


Fromagerie de Saignelégier, Jean-Philippe Brahier,
Tel. +41 (0)32 952 42 20,

The Villeret dairy is happy to welcome interested visitors, by appointment, followed by a tasting.
Fromagerie Villeret
Franz von Büren
Tel. +41 (0)32 941 51 31


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