"Bellelay cheese" was renamed towards the end of the 18th century as "Tête de Moine". The first mention in the archives of the Department of Mont-Terrible - the area had been annexed by the French and converted to a "département" - dates from around 1793-1799. It is a print entitled: "Tableau du maximum des objects de première nécessité" ("A comprehensive list of the primary necessities").
Nickname from the revolutionary period (comparison between the shaving of the cheese and a monk's tonsure).
In the Jura tradition has it that the cheese was stored in the abbey, counted per "monk's head". Hence the name "Tête de Moine".
These days, the prevailing designation for the cheese is "Tête de Moine".
© Photo : Musée jurassien d'art et d'histoire, Delémont