This cheese is linked to the monastery situated near Godewaersvelde, in the Flanders. It was the Trappist monks of the abbey of Port du Salut in the Mayenne who developed the cheese in 1880. The Abbaye du Mont-des-cats belongs therefore to the family of Trappist cheeses. This cheese saw success straight away, being distinguished at the ‘Concours General agricole de Paris’ in 1888, 1889 and 1882. This thick disc shaped cheese has a diameter of 25cm, a thickness of 4cm and a weight of around 2kg.
Appearance of the Abbaye du Mont-des-cats cheese: straw yellow-yellow ochre coloured rind, yellow-ivory coloured pate, with a few holes.
Odour of the Abbaye du Mont-des-cats cheese: hardly any odour
Texture of the Abbaye du Mont-des-cats cheese: supple and elastic
Taste of the Abbaye du Mont-des-cats cheese: pronounced lactic flavour.
The fabrication of the Mont-des-cats cheese is realised entirely by hand, by the monks of the monastery. The milk is collected from 25 surrounding farms. The cheeses are placed in the humid cellars of the abbey. The cheeses are matured for a month, during which they are washed regularly with a salty solution. The rind is slightly reddish; a colour achieved using a natural colouring, added to the salty solution. 220 tons of Abbaye du Mont-des-chats is produced each year, and is destined mainly for the Pas-de-Calais, with a small proportion going to Belgium and the Paris region.