How do I love thee? Let me Comté the ways:
My AOC friend from the Franche-Comté region of France, I fell in love with you at first glance. Gruyère de Comté (grew-Yair duh-cone-Tay) you are patiently produced in 300 small dairies called “fruitières”.
Devoted affineurs take extra care of your production , where only 7-8 80lb wheels are created daily. Then you are whisked away to a cellar to continue to age anywhere from 4-24 months. This is where you mature into the complex, flavorful guy I’ve come to love.
While your heavy wheels lay upon Spruce boards they are consistently nurtured, regularly turned over, and salted while rubbing them with Morge. Your aromas burst with richness; your textures become finer while culminating in an outstanding, beautiful brown, pebbled rind wrapped proudly in a green band.
I am enamored with your straw-colored paste, occasionally dotted with pea or cherry sized eyes. You give off deeply intense aromas of toasted nuts, toffee, milk, sweetness and flowers. Your bite is firm and oily with some crystallization caused by maturation. As you age you develop a farmy flavor that adds to your depth and complexity.
I look forward to showcasing you on my table during any stage of my meal. To steal a mouthful pre-dinner with an aperitif is such a tease. I melt as you melt and turn golden brown while covering my French onion soup. During my lazy Sunday afternoons, when I make myself a scrumptious grilled Compté sandwich on Pullman bread with sweet onion jam and a glass of Blason du Rhone Chateauneuf du Pape 2009, you satisfy my hunger.
Comté you are my classic love.