Comté

A dense, ivory-colored, nutty-flavored cow’s-milk cheese, comté is made in the Jura, the mountainous region that straddles France and Switzerland. In fact, it’s that straddle that accounts for the differences between Comté and the more widely known Gruyère, since the process of making the two cheeses, the look of the cheeses, and their flavors are almost identical. The difference? Comté is French, Gruyère is Swiss. For a Comté to comply with the French AOC designation, it must have holes (like — dare I say this and confuse things further? — what we call Swiss cheese), while a Gruyère, to be a true Gruyère, must not. Both cheeses are made in large wheels and bought by the thick slice or wedge. They are excellent solo — I always have a Comté or Gruyère on my cheese platter (my favorites are Comtés and Gruyères that have been aged, so that they are firmer and slightly saltier) — and terrific in the kitchen, because they melt smoothly. In fact, they are the cheese of fondue, whose name means melted. You can use Comté and Gruyère interchangeably in these recipes.

Dorie Greenspan

add a comment