Fort St Antoine - Marcel Petite Comte!
Hard to believe is the fact that Comte is France’s biggest selling hard cheese and represents the largest volume of all cheese protected by the A.O.C system.
Commonly thought of as a type of gruyere a name that originally came from the forests in the French and Swiss Alps –known as ‘Gruyeres’ which were once used as fuel to heat the huge copper cauldrons of milk often containing up to 500 litres of milk for one whole cheese! Around 30 cow’s milkings!
This particular Comte is made and matured by a Monsieur Marcel Petite in the side of a mountain which was once a fort. The cave is at 1,100 metres and is named Fort Saint-Antoine. This cheese is made in the small dairy of ‘Tres Major’ in the Jura mountains and are carefully graded and ripened for a minimum of 12 months at Fort St-Antoine. The huge naturally humidified caves can hold around 60,000 wheels of cheese and require constant turning, rubbing and in the early stages brining.
The resulting cheeses reminiscent of handfuls of pureed sweet cashews honey and flowers. The milk is from the famous Montbeliard cow’s who famously wander calmly through the highlands bells clanging around their necks- grazing on the rich, abundant pastures in the French Alps.
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