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Essex Comté selected from Marcel Petite’s Fort St. Antoine

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Country/State France




Type Comte

Read About the Wine

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Comte is a French “mountain” cheese made in the Jura region of eastern France from unpasteurized cow’s milk.  By French law, each cow must have at least 2.5 acres of pasture to graze on. In this area, the pastureland is rich and known for its diversity of grasses and wildflowers.

The “Fort” part of this cheese’s name is truly no joke – Fort Saint-Antoine is a huge, mostly underground structure that is renowned for holding and aging over 100,000 wheels of cheese at any one time.  No other place can possibly make Comté that is as consistent, balanced and deeply flavored as this place – it is truly a temple to cheese.

But for all that the beautiful cave aging brings to this cheese, it doesn’t start there.  It, of course, starts with the breed of cow, in this case the Montbéliarde. You may not believe the breed of cow can make such a difference in the final flavor of a cheese, but the French certainly do. The Fribourgeois (aka Holstein), a cousin sibling of the Montbéliarde, makes Gruyère.

Next is the wash. While most cheeses are washed in a brine, our Comté is always done with a dry salt rub. One is not better than the other, but for Comté, the salt rub means that this cheese is about its savory, subtitles to be enjoyed again and again:

Here you will find a cheese at the point of gorgeous ripeness where all of its beguiling flavors have come to life – hazelnuts, fried onions, and spring berries ride as a top high note above the undercurrent of dried straw, sweet cultured butters, and malt kissed with heavy cream. This is a humble cheese, whose everyday mellow perfection is a life enhancing pleasure. It is, in fact, one of the most popular cheeses in all of France.

Further, unlike most Comté that is imported into the United States, we select Marcel Petite’s Fort Saint-Antoine Comté for flavor, not price nor simply age. We are one of the few retailors of this cheese in the United States, so don’t miss this exceptional gourmet experience.


Orders placed Monday – Thursday will be available Friday across all stores. Cheese is sold in half pound wedges. Cheese is perishable, orders not picked up will not be refunded or reimbursed in any way.