Sunday, January 20, 2008
Comte French Raw Milk Alpine Cheese - tasted 01/20/08
Hubby picked out this cheese and therefore, I don't have a brand name for it, either. (I'm not starting out too good, am I?) I will get the brand for this one and the Double Gloucester from last week as soon as I can and pass them on to you.
This is a lovely, creamy white cheese with a brownish-tan colored natural rind (which I will be saving to use as a flavoring in my next pot of soup). It has a firm, smooth texture. Easy to slice. Feels good "to the teeth", to borrow a pasta cooking term. This cheese is semi-dry. As it came up to room temperature it became slightly oily.
From the label:
Raw cow milk, salt, animal rennet, lactic ferments.
Net weight: .26 lb.
Unit Price: $16.99/lb.
Total Price: $4.42
As I said, Pete picked this cheese. So, of course, he didn't care for it. Me? I love it! It is a robust, flavorful, some might say "pungent" cheese. I accompanied my first serving of this cheese with red seedless grapes, cherry tomatoes, pumpernickel bread and iced peach tea. The tomatoes were really good with this cheese. So was the pumpernickel. The grapes didn't go so well. This cheese needs to be served with foods that can "stand up" to it. I would serve it with such things as cured meats, different types of pickles, olives, rustic breads, veggies... I would not serve it with sweet or fruity items. Except maybe berries with balsamic vinegar.
There is almost a flavor of Parmesan cheese when you first put this in your mouth. Then the flavor changes into something else. I can't quite put my finger on it. It's something I've tasted before. Some other type of cheese. Gruyere, perhaps? Something about this Comte French makes me think of fondue. This is a very rich, slightly nutty flavored cheese.
This cheese is not for everyone. It has a strong, distinctive flavor that some people may object to. I would save this one for guests you are sure will appreciate it. Despite the cost, I would buy this cheese again. Perhaps not every week, or even every month, but two or three times a year would not be out of the question.