The monk's head is a cooked pressed cheese from Jura Switzerland. His recipe was invented nearly 800 years ago in Bellelay Abbey. The monks then used it as a means of payment to pay the annual tax on certain properties. Originally called "Bellelay cheese", it takes the name Tete de Moine at the end of the 18th century. It is said that in this troubled period of Revolution, his name referred to the tonsure of the monks.
The Tete de Moine enjoys Protected Designation of Origin since 2001. There are many requirements for cheese to qualify for this designation. The milk used for its production comes from cows grazing in the high mountain pastures of Jura Switzerland from spring to autumn. It must then be refined for a minimum of 75 days on spruce boards that will give it all the subtlety of its aromas. Today, less than ten cheese makers still produce it in respect of tradition and can thus benefit from the Protected Designation of Origin. Its ripening is carried out by the Spielhofer cheese dairy, located in Saint-Imier in Jura-Bernois. Resumed in 1982 by Joseph Spielhofer, it is a family-owned and innovative company with thirty employees. All their cheeses are cared for daily until perfect ripening and a tasty taste is achieved.