Abbaye du Mont des Cats
Creamy and supple, this authentic Trappist cheese is made by the monks of Mont-des-Cats Abbey in Northern France.
With a strong emphasis on self-sufficiency and manual labour, cheesemaking has long been a viable way for Trappist monasteries to be economically independent and their influence on French cheesemaking has been considerable. Well-known classics such as Époisses and Alsatian Munster have a fascinating lineage that can be traced all the way back to monastic orders.
While most cheese production has moved out of monasteries and into big factories, there is still a small collection of modern-day Abbeys like Mont-des-Cats that continue to follow ancient cheesemaking practices. Today, the Abbey's renovated fromagerie is the main breadwinner for the Godewaersvelde community. The milk comes from neighboring farms and is delivered by the Danone company in Bailleul.
Processing up to eight thousand litres per day, cow's milk is gently pasteurized and then refined for a period of four to five weeks. During this time, wheels are washed with a brine solution to encourage the growth of the Bacterium linens mold. The wheels are also dyed with roucou, a natural red dye derived from the seeds of the annatto shrub.
The result is a deliciously meaty cheese with a distinct, dusky rind. With a supple paste, rich aromas of milk and hay dominate, finished off by a lactic tang. If you love washed-rinds cheese such as Oka, Chimay Grand Cru or Munster, Mont des Cats is a must-try and one of our cheesemonger's favourites!
Pair this cheese your favourite Trappist beer for a winning combination - or enjoy at the breakfast table with a fresh baguette.