Other names: Gryere de Comte, French gryere
Originally, Gruyere was neither Swiss Nor French. The root of the word stems from Charlemagne's reign, inclusive of France, Switzerland and parts of Germany, where The forests were termed gruyeres. Wood from those forests fired the kettles for the cheese makers as they traded cheese for Firewood. Comte is aged 6 months to a year, whereas Swiss Gruyere is sometimes only aged for 3 months. It takes as many as 530 Liters of milk, which is about the daily production of 30 cows, all to make 1 wheel of Comte, which weighs approximately 80 pounds. The cheese is Regularly wiped and rubbed with brine to encourage the development of the rind mold. The eyes of the Comte are the result of Proper affinage and should be the size of a pea to a small cherry. If affinage is prolonged at too low of a temperature, the Result will be that no eyes form. The AOC designated regions include the Franche-Comte, eastern Burgundy, parts of Lorraine, Champagne and the Rhone-Alps. Comte is highly controlled for quality and 5% of the cheeses fail to meet AOC standards. The Flavor is complex, nutty and caramelized with a lingering but not sharp flavor.
Use in fondues, gratins, or salads. Pairs well with either red or white wines.