I make a special grilled cheese sandwich.
I had a taste for a classic American grilled cheese, so I experimented. I used supermarket bread and comté aged 24 months from the fromagerie. It came out very good!
Here's some information from Wikipedia for the foodies:
Comté comes from eastern France. It's made from unpasteurized cow's milk. It's the most popular French cheese as measured by the amount produced. It's a pale creamy yellow with a dusty brown rind. It has a hard and flexible texture with a strong and slightly sweet taste. Most Comté cheeses are aged from 12 to 18 months, though some are aged as little as four months and as long as 24 months. Some places, especially high-class restaurants, can carry Comtés aged for a longer time. The restaurant L'Arpège in Paris, France, is known to carry a four-year-old Comté.
So the one I got has been aged a long time.
There are about 175 independent producers in France. Production is governed by the following AOC regulations:
• Only milk from Montbeliarde Cattle or French simmental (or cross breeds of the two) are permitted, and each must have at least a hectare of grazing. • Fertilization is limited, and cows may only be fed fresh, natural feed, with no silage. • The milk must be transported to the site of production immediately after milking. • Renneting must be carried out within a stipulated time after milking, according to the storage temperature of the cheese. • Only one heating of the milk may occur, and that must be during renneting. It may be heated to no more than 40˚C. • Salt may only be applied directly to the surface of the cheese. • A casein label containing the date of production must be attached to the side of the cheese, and maturing must continue for at least four months. • No grated cheese may be sold under the Comté name.
The appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC), which translates as "controlled designation of origin", is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut national des appellations d'origine, now called Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité (INAO). It is based on the concept of terroir.
Terroir is the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with the plant's genetics, express in agricultural products.
Comté aged 24 months from the fromagerie.