The unpasteurised cow’s milk has to come from either Montbeliarde or French Simmental cattle (or crossbreeds of the two) for it to be considered a true Comte. Also, the cattle must graze within the Jura Massif region, it is in this region that there are over 3500 small family farms supplying the raw milk used to produce the Comte cheese.
This hard mountain cheese is matured to perfection in the silence and darkness of special caves where the cheese gets its unique taste, texture and colour. There are several maturing cellars in the region where Comté is ripened for a minimum of 4 months but it can be left to mature for up to 24 months.
Comté was one of the first few kinds of cheese to receive an AOC (Appellation d’origine controlee) status in 1958. It is one of the most popular AOC cheeses in France with around 40,000 tonnes of annual production. Each cheese weighs approximately 40kg and 450 litres of milk are required to make each cheese.
The cheese has a wonderful buttery and slightly nutty taste which can be enjoyed on a cheese board with wines of the Jura region and served with roasted garlic and crusty bread.
For best results remove from the fridge no more than 1 hour before the tasting.