Abbaye de Belval

May 12, 2024

Abbaye de Belval (sometimes also called as “Belval aux fleurs”) cheese originates from the Lorraine region in northeastern France and is meticulously crafted by Trappist monks at the Abbaye de Belval monastery. Established in the 12th century, the monastery has been a hub of spiritual devotion and artisanal practices.

Abbaye de Belval cheese

Using time-honored techniques passed down through generations, the monks began producing cheese alongside their religious duties. Abbaye de Belval cheese, made from cow’s milk, undergoes months of aging, resulting in a smooth, creamy texture and a rich, nutty flavor with hints of caramel and butter.

Abbaye de Belval cheese

The flowers which you may see adorning cheese – are edible blossoms and herbs. They serve both a decorative purpose and can add subtle flavor notes to the cheese. Common flowers used for garnishing cheese include lavender, rose petals, chive blossoms, and nasturtiums, among others. These flowers are selected for their delicate flavors and attractive appearance, enhancing the overall presentation of the cheese. Additionally, they can offer a sensory experience by providing aromatic and visual appeal to the cheese platter. However, not all cheeses are garnished with flowers, and it ultimately depends on the preferences of the cheesemaker or the presentation style chosen for a particular cheese.

Abbaye de Belval cheese

To fully appreciate the cheese’s flavors, pairing it with complementary foods and beverages is ideal:

Start with crusty bread to highlight the cheese’s creamy texture, or opt for ripe fruits like apples or pears for a sweet contrast. Nuts such as walnuts or almonds add texture and depth to the tasting experience.

For a gourmet cheese board, include cured meats like prosciutto or salami, which complement the cheese’s savory notes. Drizzling honey over the cheese enhances its sweetness, creating a luxurious combination.

When it comes to beverages, medium-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or Merlot complement the cheese’s flavors. Alternatively, Belgian-style ales or farmhouse saisons offer a refreshing contrast, making for a delightful pairing.

These pairings enhance the unique qualities of Abbaye de Belval cheese, providing a culinary experience that’s both sophisticated and satisfying. Experimenting with different combinations allows for the discovery of favorite flavor harmonies, enriching the enjoyment of this esteemed cheese.

Abbaye de Belval cheese