Abbaye de Belloc
Abbaye de Belloc is a French cheese that is made by Benedictine monks at the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Belloc in the Western Pyrenees. The monks developed this sheep’s milk cheese in the 1960s, though its recipe is based on another local classic, Ossau Iraty.
Abbaye de Belloc is produced pasteurized sheep's milk sourced from red-nosed Manech ewes. Farmhouse sheep’s milk cheese production in this mountainous region is resolutely seasonal, with cheesemaking taking place mainly between December and the end of July.
After production, wheels of Abbaye de Belloc are aged for four to ten months prior to release and sale. The youngest wheels are made in December and sent to market in April, while the older cheeses are made in July and held until the following April or May.
The rind of Abbaye de Belloc has a reddish hue overlaid with brown and grey molds. Its texture is firm and supple with an interior paste that is dense, smooth, and ivory in color.
Abbaye de Belloc is typically sweet and mild in flavor, with a pleasant brown butter aroma and hints of nuts and caramel.
Pair with pinot noir or shiraz.