Our 12-month-old Comté has a rich and nutty texture, a lingering flavour and a caramel sweetness.
Comté was the first French cheese to be awarded protected status by the French National Institute of Origin and Quality. The PDO for the cheese states that it must be made from unpasteurised milk in the Jura area of France and the milk used must be mostly from Montbeliarde cows with some French Simmental milk permitted.
At the time of writing there are 13 affineurs who specialise in ageing the vast wheels of Comté. Their job involves grading each and every cheese and they award points out of 20 for each wheel. Cheeses which score 15 or above are given a green band around their rind and this shows that they are of the highest quality, 12-14 points are given a brown band and those scoring 11 or below are not permitted to be sold as Comté.
This Comté has been aged by the affineurs Entre Mont who have been Comté specialists since 1948. It is only made with the summer milk and so it always has a fantastically sweet, nutty flavour. The affineurs are very proud of their cheeses and the region in which they are made. Indeed the lion on the label of the cheeses is the emblem of the Franche-Comté region in the Jura mountains.
If you are enjoying Comté in France the dream drink to pair it with would be Vin Jaune. This is very similar to a sherry and the nuttiness of the wine really allows the flavours of the cheese to come through. Comté is also a key ingredient in a classic fondue.