Over the time I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve become ever more fascinated with the inherent beauty of good, real cheese. How can this not be appealing to both I and tongue? Yeah, I’m a total cheese geek… but then again, so are you, right?
Abbaye de Belloc is perhaps one of the French cheeses most tied to, in fact reserved to, it’s traditions and origins. To this day the Benedictine monks of the abbey of Notre-Dame de Belloc craft the cheese to the same standards as handed down through centuries. Located in Urt, in the French Pyrénées, the raw sheep milk is sourced from a very singular breed indigenous to the region, the “Red-headed Manech.
A French Pyrenees sheep’s milk cheese, Abbaye de Belloc is rather typical of Basque-type cheese; dense, finely textured. It’s believed that the monks from Belloc may have taught the Basques to make the style in the first place. And it tastes of everything I love about sheep milk cheese: an undercurrent of lanolin that binds together a creamy, sweet, nutty, brown-butter and caramel flavor.
Fruity red wines from the region, both France and Spain are excellent here.
Cheese: Abbaye de Bel’loc
Who: Monks of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Belloc
Where: Urt, France
Milk Type: sheep, raw
Shape: ~11lb wheel
Tasting notes: sweet, mild, caramel, brown butter, almonds