This ancient cheese is also known as French Gruyere, or Gruyere de Comte. It has been made in the Franche-Comte and Rhone-Alpes region for over eight centuries and continues throughout France today as the number one all-round table cheese.
It takes about 530 litres of milk, or thirty cows daily yield, to make just one 35kg wheel of Comte. The Montbeliarde cows are known for exceptionally sweet milk, and they provide up to ninety-five percent of that which is used for this cheese. For these gentle beasts, summer high pastures of grass and flowers are followed by return to the valley and summer-cut hay in the winter. It is the reflection of when and what and how the cows graze that gives Comte the lovely seasonal and regional variations. Flavours range from buttter and hazelnuts to plum, pepper, and dark chocolate nuances.
Comte is extremely versatile and can be found in French dishes from quiches, soups, to fondue, sauces and salads. It goes well with Jura wines: Chardonnay Chenin Blamc, or Viognier.