Comté was the first and only cheese we sold when we started the business over 15 years ago. Over that time, through countless trips to France, we have perfected our selection to find cheeses that we believe best encapsulate Comté.
Our Comté is produced by small fruitières across the Jura and Doubs mountains within the Franche-Comté region of Eastern France. Comté is a hard cows’ milk cheese with a salted rind. Milk used in the production of Comté comes from local Montbelliarde or French Simmental cows.
Our Comté is aged by Marcel Petite, at Fort St Antoine, until it reaches perfect maturity. Marcel Petite engages in a philosophy of affinage lent, or slow maturation, with the cheeses kept at a cool temperature, surrounded by the thick stone walls of the fort. Over time, this setting allows the cheeses to develop well-balanced sweet, nutty flavours and a smooth, creamy texture.
We hand select Comté that has been matured for around 12 to 14 months. When we select our cheeses, we are looking for length and depth of flavour; sweet caramelised onion, rich nuttiness balanced with subtle meaty and vegetal notes. The texture is creamy, dense and smooth. Some other suppliers prefer Comte that has aged for longer, but in our view, it is at this stage that it tastes at its best.
Comté is a perfect table cheese; served on fresh bread or crackers, accompanied by fruits, sweet pickles and walnuts. It can also be melted for fondue or used for a traditional cheese souffle.
Tome is a semi-soft cows’ milk cheese made by a small dairy cooperative in Évillers in the Doubs region of Franche-Comté. Using unpasteurised milk from local Montbelliarde cows, these un-pressed cheeses are matured for four to five months by Marcel Petite (*link to Marcel Petite page) at Fort St. Antoine. Tome is not salted during affinage so micro-flora can cultivate on the outside of the cheese giving the cheese its characteristic white-grey mould rind, which itself helps develop the cheese’s flavour.
Tome has a cream to light yellow appearance depending on the season. The texture is creamy with a supple and smooth mouth-feel. As Tome ages, stronger earthy mushroom flavours and herbaceous, citrus notes develop in this savoury and well-balanced cheese. Oatcakes compliment the earthy flavours of the Tome when enjoyed as a table cheese. The semi-soft texture softens beautifully when added to a potato bake and its flavours are accentuated when paired with mushroom or sausage dishes.
Ruyge Weyde is a Dutch Boerenkaas (meaning farmhouse) Gouda made just east of the town of Gouda in Southern Holland. The brothers René and Sander von Vliet are the current farmer-cheesemakers and are the fifth generation of their family who have been making this cheese since 1847.
The herd is grazed on meadowland from April to November and then fed a dry grass diet through the winter so their is no silage taint to the raw milk they produce. The farm also boasts a robotic milking parlour for up to 70 cows so the girls can come and go to be milked throughout the day when they like. Ruyde Weyde has had full organic status since 2018.
The style of the cheese is something between a gouda and a Swiss cheese (Emmental or Appenzeller) so has a good number of large holes in the curd, the idea being that the cheese around the holes is the most delicious bit