Based in New York, the Essex Street Cheese Company is dedicated to sourcing impeccable wheels of classic European cheeses and bringing them to the United States. In addition to Manchego, Parmigiano and a handful of Goudas, they source Comté aged at the Fort St. Antoine in France's Jura Mountains. These massive rounds of cheese (weighing in at approximately 80 pounds) are made from the raw milk of Montbeliard cows, according to AOC regulations. They start off as curds the size of hazelnuts which are cooked and then pressed, creating Comté's characteristically firm texture. The wheels are then salted periodically in the following weeks before being transferred to the cavernous aging facility where they are aged under the care of a master affineur.
The Reserve Comté is aged about 24 months. It offers a toothsome paste that shows just a hint of protein crystallization. Its deep, rich flavors range from caramelized onions to roasted almonds and beef broth to a creamy finish reminiscent of white chocolate.
Farm / Company: Essex Street Cheese Co.
Cheesemaker: Traditional Coop
Affineur: Marcel Petite
Milk Type: Cow
Milk Treatment: Raw
Aging: 18-24 months
Size(s): 80-pound wheel