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Comté, from the Haut Jura, is a firm cheese with few small openings made from raw cow's milk harvested from the Montbéliarde breed of cows. Around 450L of milk is pressed into a large 40kg wheel, and then aged in general between 6 to 36 months. While it is contemporarily considered as a delicacy around the world, it was born out of necessity as the slow ageing large wheels would offer peasants sustenance during long and arduous winters. That in turn is why the tradition of Comté is so deeply engrained in the French culinary culture.
Charles Arnaud Comté is first and foremost a philosophy of tradition and celebrating what makes the Jura special; its terroir. All of those involved in the process of fabrication, from farms to packing, are located in their region. It is made with traditional methods, using a handful of ingredients. All of them natural and without colouring or preservatives.
This all happens in the bowels of the legendary Fort des Rousses, where their Comté is exposed to very specific temperatures and humidity levels and hundreds upon hundreds of carefully crafted wheels are patiently nurtured to age. This meticulous process is what confers the Charles Arnaud standards of quality to these cheeses. The best kept secrets are in the details of care and fabrication which in turn make the Comté Charles Arnaud unique in the world of Comté.
FLAVOUR: The texture is firm and smooth. Each fruitière has its own distinct profile that reflects the soil, climate, and flora where the cows graze - from melted butter, milk chocolate, hazelnuts, and fudge to aromas of toast, plum jam, leather, pepper, and dark chocolate, others can be more reminiscent of butterscotch and hazelnuts and even sweet oranges.
HOW TO SAVOUR: The French enjoy Comté at virtually any time of day. As it melts well, it can be found in numerous French dishes from quiches, soups, and gratins to fondue, sauces, and salads. Its creamy texture and fruity tang marries well with fish and white meat and the local Jura wines or Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, or Viognier.