Brebis de l’Abbaye de Belloc is a Basque sheep’s milk cheese.
It is made (now partly made: see history below) at the Abbaye de Belloc in Urt in the Aquitaine area of France by Benedictine monks.
The whole milk used is from the Manech breed of sheep.
The cheese is semi-soft and dense with a creamy taste. The rind, which you don’t eat, is covered with a mottled brown and beige mould. The young cheeses are quite mild. Older ones will be drier and have a stronger, somewhat caramelized flavour.
The curd is cooked and pressed. The cheeses are moulded into circular shapes 10 inches (26 cm) wide x 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) tall, weighing about 10 pounds (4.5 kg), and aged 4 to 10 months.
Brebis de l’Abbaye de Belloc has a minimum 50% butterfat content.
L’Abbaye de Belloc was founded in 1875.
The cheese has been made since the 1960s. The monks actually made the cheese themselves until the early 1990s with sheep’s milk from neighbouring farms. Since then, however, it’s made in a nearby dairy, and the newly-made cheese is then taken by the monks and aged in their caves.