A few weeks ago Comté Cheese got in touch to ask if I would be interested in creating some recipes for them. Little did they know, I actually come from Franche-Comté and Comté is one of my favourite cheeses. How could I refuse?
Sharing a border with Switzerland, Franche-Comté is a very picturesque area of France stretching between Jura, Bourgogne, Ain and Alsace. The Jura region is particularly beautiful with mountains, pastures and forests. Farms, pretty villages and churches dot the lavish green landscape.
Back home we are very proud of “our” cheese which embodies tradition and “savoir faire” (know-how). The production is based upon artisanal methods and use high quality milk sourced from specific grass-fed cow breeds such as the “Montbéliarde” (named after the town next to the village where I grew up).
Comté is made in around 170 small village cheese dairies known as fruitières often situated in the heart of the villages. Everyday, each fruitière receives milk from dedicated dairy farms situated within an 8 mile radius to guarantee its absolute freshness. Comté Cheese was granted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1958, further asserting its quality status.
A strong and hard cheese, Comté makes a superb addition to any cheese board but also melts beautifully so you can add it to quiches, cakes, gratins etc..
Comté is very popular in our house and is also one of my kids’ favourite cheeses. They started eating Comté as toddlers as it is very high in calcium (910 mg / 100g cheese).
You’ll find Comté aged 12 to 24 months. The older Comté will have a sharper taste which is delicious on its own or in salads. Unfortunately, Comté is not suitable for vegetarians. Here in the UK you can buy it from specialist cheese shops and some supermarkets.
Back in my kitchen, here I was last week, me and two large slabs of Comté, looking for some recipe ideas and trying some different food combinations. Life as a food blogger has its perks and this was certainly one I enjoyed.
I made this Roasted Butternut, Kale & Comté Salad with the 24-month old Comté I was given. It is an unusual blend of French and Middle-Eastern flavours, I like to think of it as Ottolenghi strolling through Jura.
With the 12-month old Comté cheese I received I made these Leek & Comté Curried Mini Quiches. Comté and curry is a marriage made in heaven and these mini quiches make perfect nibbles for any occasion. A real crowd pleaser, they are easy and straightforward to make.
And my favourite way of eating Comté you may ask? Well it has to be, dipped in some Dijon mustard with some French baguette “bien sûr!”
More information about Comté is available here on Comté Cheese website.