UK-wide delivery excluding Northern ireland. We aim for orders to arrive +/- 2 delivery days of the date chosen.

Comté

Comté is a hard cheese made in the Franche-Comté region of Eastern France. The Comté we sell is matured by Marcel Petite at Fort Saint Antoine for 12-18 months. It has a creamy texture with occasional crystals, sweet and nutty to savoury and vegetal flavours.

Only available via Wholesale.


Delivery Information

Standard delivery is free to most postcodes in the UK for orders over £29.50. Click here for a list of postcodes where additional delivery charges apply.

For orders under £29.50, standard delivery is £6.00.

Collection from our London shops is free - choose Shop Collection at checkout.

Choose your preferred delivery date at checkout. As we use third party couriers (typically DPD) we cannot guarantee the arrival day of your order but we will do our best to ensure that it arrives as close as possible to your chosen date. To be sure it arrives in time, we recommend choosing a date a couple of days ahead of when you would like to eat your cheese. 

 

milk type
Cow

coagulant
Animal Rennet

milk treatment
Raw

location
Franche-Comté, France

milk source
Farmers cooperative

breed
Montbéliard

season
All year

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At the heart of all Comté production is the cooperative: a co-owned creamery, known as a ‘fruitière’, in which local dairy farmers pool their milk to make cheeses. Historically, this was born of the fact that none of these small-scale farmers would have had enough surplus milk to make such large cheeses alone.

background

Comté cheeses are very large – about 70cm in diameter – and it is partly because of this that the distinct role of the affineur developed: maturation specialists who can provide the space and condi...
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Comté cheeses are very large – about 70cm in diameter – and it is partly because of this that the distinct role of the affineur developed: maturation specialists who can provide the space and conditions necessary to carry out the process of ripening. The fruitières that produce the cheeses look after them for two to three weeks; they are then collected by the affineurs and kept in a cool, damp place for anything between 12 and 48 months. In 1966, high in the Jura mountains, the eponymous founder of the Marcel Petite affineurs happened upon Fort Lucotte de Saint Antoine: an imposing 19th century garrison. At that time, the common practice amongst Comté affineurs was to mature the cheese at a higher temperature for certain parts of the maturation period, which sped up the process but also resulted in the formation of gas ‘eyes’ and a slightly more one-dimensional taste. In the cool, still, damp environment of the fort, Petite saw the possibility of ‘affinage lent’, or slow maturation: allowing nature, the seasons and his senses to guide his affinage, rather than the pressure of time or market forces. Today, the fort is home to over 100,000 wheels of Comté, and the routine turning, salting, brushing and washing is carried out by a team of robots – but the philosophy of selling the cheeses only when they’re at their absolute best remains. Being situated high in the Jura mountains means Marcel Petite has access to the milk from higher, smaller cooperatives, where pastures are rich with a diversity of flowers and herbs on which the cows graze – particularly in the summer, when most of the cheese is made. 
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our work with this cheese

As well as maturation, the job of the affineur is to triage the cheeses: that is, to identify the flavour profile of cheese that a customer is looking for, and pin-point those cheeses which best re...
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As well as maturation, the job of the affineur is to triage the cheeses: that is, to identify the flavour profile of cheese that a customer is looking for, and pin-point those cheeses which best represent it – despite considerable variability over the seasons and even within the seasons themselves. Because of this, most wholesale buyers don’t feel the need to visit the fort. However at Neal’s Yard Dairy, working in collaboration with Borough Cheese Company, we like to import a range of profiles to suit different customers in our shops, online and wholesale. In order to ensure the consistency and quality of the cheeses we buy, we visit Marcel Petite around nine times a year to taste and select cheeses, and to cycle around some of the cooperatives. Over time, we have come to understand the differences between the cooperatives, and have identified a couple we like most. Having a relationship with Marcel and with these cooperatives is important to understanding the story of our Comté, and to ensuring we get the best possible wheels.
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