Abbaye de Belloc
Country of origin: France
Region: Pays Basque
Type: semi-hard, artisan
Flavour: burnt caramel
Producers: Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Belloc
Synonyms: Abbaye Notre-Dame de Belloc
Abbaye de Belloc is also known as 'Abbaye Notre-Dame de Belloc' since it was produced by the Benedictine monks at the 'Abbaye de Notre Dame de Belloc' in the Pays Basque region of Aquitaine, France. They used sheep milk available in the locality and followed a cheese making process that dates back to 3000 years.
Abbaye de Belloc is a flat wheel-shaped traditional, farmhouse, unpasteurised, semi-hard cheese made from sheep's milk. It has a natural, crusty, brownish rind with patches of red, orange and yellow. The rind is marked with tiny craters.
The cheese has a firm, dense, rich and creamy texture. The taste resembles burnt caramel and there is a distinctive lanolin aroma. Ageing process of the cheese ranges from four to ten months. The younger wheels are made in December while the older in July. Both types of cheese wheels are sent to the market in April.