Comté AOC

Comté is a hard cows’ milk cheese made in the Franche-Comté region of Eastern France. The breed of cow is mainly Montbéliard with around 5% coming from French Simmental. Comté is made with unpasteurised milk and animal rennet in small dairies called ‘fruitières’. Each morning the milk arrives and is pumped into large copper-lined vats. While this is happening a whey starter is added (the whey is from the previous day’s make incubated overnight). When full, the vat is stirred and the temperature increased to between 31° and 33°C. The milk is held at this temperature for a period of ‘ripening’ lasting 30-45 minutes. After this a second whey starter is added along with the rennet. This is then stirred for a few minutes and then left to set. The curd is cut about 30 minutes after the addition of the rennet.