Comté 30-36 month AOP
Cooked Cow's Milk
The most consumed cheese in France, the Comté is related to the Gruyère, but it is made exclusively in Franche-Comté, an area which is to the north of the Alps and which is home to the old mountains of Jura. Protected by an AOP since 1952, it is made exclusively from milk produced by Montbeliarde and Simmental cattle. It takes around 450 litres of milk to make just one wheel of Comté, so the Sancey-Richard family, proud owners of the Fromagerie du Mont d’Or in Métabief, works in partnership with local farmers in a type of local co-operative known as “fruitière”. The farmers let their cattle graze on the mountain pastures in the summer, and feed them hay in the winter. The milk is collected daily around the mountain range and transformed at the dairy. It is the art of affinage which will make the Comté a truly great cheese. Aged on boards of spruce in humid caves, a thick rind develops, becoming crumblier and darker with age. The affineur carefully checks and turns the wheels, tapping them to check for cracks. A perfectly matured three year-old Comté has a smooth, yellow pâte, with a buttery texture contrasting with the crunchy milk “crystals” (proteins). Its flavours are complex and long-lasting, with the sweetness of dried fruits and nuts perfectly balanced by savoury notes.
The skills and efforts it takes to make this cheese are amply rewarded by its outstanding quality.