Comté Pairings for the Holidays


! FR-2011

If you love big, fruity wines, chances are you’ll fall chin-over-stilettos for Comté. It’s a big fruity cheese, and it pairs well with everything this time of year – nuts, sherry, even fruitcake.

Imagine a buttery Gruyere with sweet, nutty notes and a smooth toffee finish. This is the kind of cheese that changes people – once you have tried Comté, you will never settle for a mediocre brick. It is, in a word, stargasmic.

Comté – rhymes with enchanté – is also reliable. The production of this Alpine cheese is highly regulated in France, so it’s next to impossible to buy a bad wedge. The makers use milk from special Montbéliard cattle, and every wheel is tested for quality.

One reason I love Comté: it can dance with sweet or savory partners. Here are a few of my favorite little numbers:

  • For a delicious hot or cold open-faced sandwich, layer Comté over thick-cut ham and brown mustard. Serve with sweet pickles and a Pale Ale.
  • Serve Comté after dinner with preserved walnuts or fruits in liqueur, alongside thinly sliced biscotti or fruitcake.
  • For breakfast, substitute Comte for other cheeses in quiche recipes. Try Comté, leek, and bacon.
  • For a rustic cheese board, serve Comté with whole roasted garlic, toasted hazelnuts sprinkled with sea salt, rosemary sprigs, and cured meats.
  • For a snack, try Comté with apricot butter on a baguette or oat biscuit, alongside a cup of almond tea.
  • For a simple dessert: Comté and dry amontillado sherry.

For more cheese pairing ideas, visit Madame Fromage