Made with pasteurized milk, this rindless, cooked, pressed and interior-ripened cheese is dotted with shiny, irregular holes. Le Moine resembles a Gruyère-type cheese. It is yellow wheat or straw in colour and is smooth and slightly elastic. Its aroma is sweet and a little bit acidic. It tastes of hazelnut and melted butter and can be mild to pronounced, depending on its age.
This cheese is made by the Benedictine monks at Saint Benedict’s Abbey in Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, from which it gets its Le Moine (the monk) name. Monastic rules drawn up by Saint Benedict oblige the monks to do some manual work each day. Being a “real” monk means living from the fruits of manual labour. In addition to ensuring the abbey’s financial viability, the work the monks do allows them to preserve a balance between body and spirit.
Le Moine is available from the cheese maker, at specialized cheese shops and grocery stores, and in most supermarkets.
Awards and distinctions
2016 Canadian Cheese Awards finalist in the Firm Cheese with Holes category. 1st prize winner of the Prix de l’École de laiterie at the 2013 Sélection Caseus competition, in the Cheese Ripened with Refining Openings category.