Tête de Moine Cheese 2016 — photo 2 of 12: The bottom label of a genuine Tête de Moine (“Monk’s Head” in French) cheese crafted in Bellelay, Switzerland. There are numerous interesting tidbits of information we can glean from this label:
  • The cheese was purchased at Migros, the largest supermarket chain in Switzerland.
  • In French, “action” means “on sale” — therefore it was priced lower than usual.
  • The French phrase “Le fromage à pâte mi-​dure est par nature sans lactose” translates as “Semi-hard cheese is naturally lactose-​free.”
  • This particular piece of cheese weighed 852g, which translates to almost exactly 30 oz... or 1 lb, 14 oz ... or 2 oz less than 2 lbs.
  • The price (on sale) was CHF 16.50 (Swiss francs) per kilogram. At the current exchange rate, this is $16.96/kg. Since there are 2.2 pounds in a kilo, this computes to a ri­dic­u­lous­ly-​low $7.71/lb — this hunk of cheese cost only $14.44! Just for comparison, you can get some on Amazon for $36.11/lb — 4.7 times the Swiss price.
  • This cheese is made with whole, raw — “gras, cru” — milk.
  • Tête de Moine has appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) status.
  • Part of the information has been rubbed away, but from what I can see I would say this cheese consists of 34% butterfat. On the other hand, the Tête de Moine product sheet states a minimum 51% fat. So much for bad guessing!
  • This particular piece of cheese was to be sold by 2 Sept. 2015 and consumed by 8 Sept. 2015. We put it in the freezer, and enjoyed it in January 2016. It was awesome!
Camera used: Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
For further details about the story behind this photo, see the related article The Anatomy of a Monk’s Head ... Cheese.
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