Comte A.O.C. is a handmade artisan cheese. It is aged for more than 1 year, resulting in a masterpiece. This hard cheese has a full spectrum of delicious flavors: nutty, creamy, fruity, peppery and toasty. The body is satiny and ivory-colored with many small holes. French Comte comes from a centuries-old recipe, also known as Gruyere de Comte. It has been produced since the reign of Charlemagne, when there were no separate entities named France and Switzerland. Although Swiss Gruyere may be better known, this French variety is no less special.
The Montbeliard and French Simmental are the only breeds of cattle whose milk is authorized for making Comte, where it is then made by local villagers in Alpine dairies called 'fruiteries.' Comte is made the same way, day in day out; part-skimming the milk, warming of the copper pots to creating the curd and pressing to remove excess liquid. The freshly made wheels are then pre-ripened for a few weeks before being moved a maturing cellars. Here the affineurs look after the wheels, that age on spruce boards; regularly turning, salting and rubbing each one with brine solution. Over time a crust appears and every Comte wheel develops its unique smooth texture, rich color and delicious range of flavors.
A wheel of Comte weighs an average 90 lbs.; and every year around 1.2 million wheels are produced, for which around 100,000 cows are working hard. Comte is great as an appetizer cheese, and melts wonderful.
Comte goes well with white wines that accentuate its rich nutty flavor. Try Pinot Gris, Gewerztraminer or Dry Riesling. For red wine try a lighter fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Sparkling Wine is great for special occasions.
We hand-cut and wrap this cheese in wedges of approximately 1 pound and 8 ounces.