Pronunciation: [kaw<em>n</em>-TAY]

France's most popular and widely produced cheese, Comté is made throughout five major regions of eastern France. Yet, even though production is massive, because Comté has appellation status its quality is strictly controlled. Each cheese is rigorously graded on a 20-point system and those not attaining enough points are sold as gruyère (French Gruyère isn't as esteemed as Swiss Gruyère). Comté is aged a minimum of 4 months, though 6 months or longer is more common. The texture is firm and supple, the flavor a complex yet savory mixture of butterscotch, nuts and fruit.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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