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.
Wilde Weide is a Dutch Boerenkaas (meaning farmhouse) Gouda made by Jan and Roos van Schie on their family farm near Warmond, South Holland. Their farm is situated on a lake island, or polder, called Zwanburgerpolder within The Netherlands ‘green heart’, famed for its beauty and rich agricultural landscape. The milk used comes from the van Schie’s own organic Montbelliarde herd. The use of the Montbelliarde cow for dairy farming is rare in the Netherlands. However, Jan and Roos were inspired to make cheese using this less popular breed after tasting local cheeses on a family holiday in Franche-Comté.
Wilde Weide means wild meadow in Dutch and reflects the diet their small herd of cows enjoy which includes a rich variety of grasses, flowers and herbs that are naturally and biodynamically grown in the meadows of the farm. Batches of Wilde Weide are regularly collected by L’Amuse and matured for around 12 months before being selected and sent to us. At which point, the straw-coloured paste is speckled with small amino crystals and has a smooth but crumbly texture. The flavour profile is mildly sweet with sharper notes of whiskey and a fruity acidity on the finish.