You didn't think I'd tell you I learned all about Comté cheese without any explanation, did ya? Read on.
Similar to the French wine classification system, many French cheeses are distinguished by region. Why? The particular place of each cheese's origin is believed to be imperative to the taste of the cheese itself. Comté is just one example. The entire process of its creation is regulated by a set of rules and regulations...
It all begins with the milk producer - the Montbéliarde cow. Each cow has two hectares of natural pasture to graze on in the summer, and is fed local hay in the wintertime. They are also milked twice a day.
Daily, the farmer brings the fresh, raw milk to a frutiere. This is where the cheese itself is formed; first by cleaning and combining the milk of Montbéliarde cows from about six different farms.
It's amazing to think we followed the actual process, though not in the sequential order due to convenience.
More fun facts from the book our taste educator, Claire Perrot, published: each Comté cheese wheel weighs 40kg; a 30g serving of Comté contains 15% of an adult's daily protein needs; there's only 8g per kilo.
We learned how to taste Comté, too; using our senses of sight, smell, and touch first, then taking note of the aromas as we tasted. As in tasting wine, there's a poetry to the language used in describing the experience.a Wisconsin dairy farm and how different the conversations were there. Even though the U.S. doesn't have these traditions of terroir, I'd like to think we can still cultivate an appreciation for local and artisan foods. Hopefully we're already on our way.