tête de moine with fig jam
For my birthday, JH gave me a very sentimental gift: a Boska Cheese Curler and a wheel of the Swiss cow’s milk cheese, Tête de Moine.
A Cheese Curler? Let me explain.
I know, it sounds cheesy (ehemmm) but JH and I have a ritual that’s deeply linked to this simple device. In fact, it’s fair to say that our friendship has evolved both with and because of it.
I’ll start at the beginning: Every month or so JH and I meet for dinner at Black Mountain Winehouse, a small, discreet restaurant on the corner of Hoyt and Union Streets in Brooklyn. Tyler is always our gracious and entertaining host and, frankly, he probably knows way too much about us than we care to share at this point.
During the winter we sit by the open fire in the back; during the summer we sit by the open window in the front. We always drink copiously, spill our guts, dream out loud, and come up with future schemes and projects…this blog was one such late-night revelation.
At Black Mountain the menu specials change nightly, but thankfully, the cheeses remain the same, and with every meal we order a double dose of the delicious Tête de Moine, a Gruyere-like cheese made by monks in Switzerland. It’s name translates to “monk’s head” (not “head of less,” as I first thought); French soldiers called it this because during the revolution the monks that they captured had wheels of the stuff hidden in their robes.
The light, delicate flowers that the cheese curler makes of the Moines once seemed miraculous to me. I actually thought that the cheese grew into this filamentous floret—embarrassing––until Tyler showed us the Amazing Cheese Curler, the magical tool of his trade, and gave us a demo.
boska cheese culer in all her glory
It seems pretty self-explanatory, but after trying it at home and destroying several wheels of expensive fromage that broke apart when I pushed , Tyler gave me the tip off: The cheese must be cold.