Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews
Incredible Mountain Cheese from Eastern France
Comté is one of France’s oldest cheeses and one of last strong bastions of traditional cheese making. A great Comté will be buttery, softly nutty, intensely excellent without going over any edge. All our Comté comes to us from Marcel Petit, the firm that’s been maturing cheese in what’s known as the “Fort St. Antonie,” for over fifty years. Our Staff Partner and longtime Mail Order cheese specialist and warehouse manager, Lisa Roberts, says:
Recently I travelled to Marcel Petit’s Fort St. Antoine in Jougne, France where they age Comté cheese. This was a dream come true for me. Everyone acknowledges that the French make great cheese and Comté is king in France. Comté from Fort St. Antoine is the crown of the king and a trip there is like a cheesemonger’s haj. The Fort is special because it’s an ideal environment for very slow maturing of the wheels. It was built into the side of a hill in the 1800’s and abandoned after it failed at its job stopping Germans in World War II. Inside it, the cheese can develop and express its individual flavors. I think it’s just about perfect. It’s a wonderful balance of flavors that include hazelnut, brothy French onion soup and butter. It has the most delicate hint of sweetness and a super long finish.
Our Comté, aged inside the stone walls of the Fort for about 18 months, has a fantastic flavor that melts in the mouth. It’s gentle and intense at the same time in an intriguing and eminently enjoyable way. A light nuttiness, with just the tiniest whisper of smokiness. I could honestly eat this cheese all day! Give me a good salad, a thick slice of Country Miche bread from the Bakehouse spread with a bit of cultured butter, and slices of this Comté laid on top. I’ve been making a spread of grated Comté, a bit of mayo, a good amount of freshly ground Tellicherry pepper and some Domaine des Terres Rouge Walnut Mustard (you can also sub in some good Dijon). Great on toast or on egg noodles!
Read about our Extra Aged Comté here!