Food - Drink
What Makes Comté Cheese Unique
BY MICHELLE WELSCH
Comté is a famous French cheese that pairs well with red wines, white wines, and even some beers, and is also invaluable for use in cooking and cheese boards. This cheese has a unique aroma and flavor associated with the cows from the mountainous regions of eastern France, and is also made through a laborious process.
Comté must be made from the milk from Montbeliarde or French Simmental cows, and the cows must be milked close to production factories so that the milk arrives at the factory as fresh as possible. Cheese wheels are lined with curd and a mixture of sea salt, then yeast is painted along the rind before the cheese is aged in a cave.
The aging process dramatically impacts the taste of the final cheese. Young Comté starts off as soft, supple, and nutty, but later hardens and gains notes of celery, nutmeg, dried pineapple, and even macaroni and cheese. There are around 83 flavors associated with Comté, but brown butter and roasted nuts are most easily detected.
You can slice Comté for a cheese board, cook it with eggs, enjoy it on a sandwich or fresh baguette with a spoonful of apricot butter, or even pair it with a spirit or wine like Noir, Beaujolais, Rioja, or red Bordeaux, for dessert. Younger Comté also melts easily for fondue, while older Comté can be grated over soups or vegetables.