The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Comté. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.
What Comté etiquette is
Comté etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Comté. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow Comté etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.
What you should know about Comté
Comté is a semi-hard cheese from France. It is produced in the Franche-Comté region, near the Jura massif and Switzerland.
Comté is also known as Gruyère de Comté. It is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It must go through an aging process of between 4 and 36 months. Comté has a brown, hard rind and a light yellow internal body.
Etiquette tips to serve and eat Comté
1) How to store Comté
Store Comté in the fridge. It can last for up to 4 weeks.
After opening it, it is best to consume Comté within 2 or 3 weeks. To store it, wrap it in waxed paper or parchment paper. Then, you can wrap it in plastic or aluminum foil. You can store it in a sealed container too.
In the freezer, Comté can last for up to 2 months. However, freezing affects the taste and texture of the cheese.
Store dishes with cooked Comté in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 days.
2) How to clean Comté
You do not need to wash Comté.
Its rind is edible. However, it is salty and quite hard. Thus, it is common to discard it.
If you notice mold on the surface of a slice of Comté, discard the cheese immediately.
3) How to cook Comté
Younger Comté melts well. You can combine it with other cheeses, such as Gruyere and Emmenthaler, to make fondue. You can also add it to eggs and sandwiches, or bake it in a quiche or savory tart.
Aged Comté does not melt as well as the younger ones. You can grate it over baked vegetables, or in soups.
4) How to serve & present Comté
You can serve Comté in large pieces. Present it with a serving knife to slice it. Alternatively, you can serve it in smaller slices or chunks. Accompany it with bread or crackers.
Comté is best served after the meal and before the dessert. It is perfect for a cheese platter. You can serve it as an appetizer too.
Serve Comté at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge between 1 and 2 hours before serving.
5) Food and wine to pair Comté with
Comté goes well in recipes with meat, eggs, or vegetables. Avoid it with fish or seafood.
Aged Comté can enhance the flavor of soups, rice, and risotto. It is not common on pasta or pizza.
Pair Comté with honey, jams, dry fruit, and nuts.
Comté pairs best with red wines. Bordeaux. Rioja. Nebbiolo. Pinot Noir. If you prefer a white, try pairing it with a White Burgundy or an aged Chardonnay.
6) How to eat Comté
The rind or skin is edible. However, it is best to discard it.
Use a knife to remove the rind, and slice the cheese into bite-sized chunks. Then, bring it to your mouth one chunk at a time with your fingers. Alternatively, you can use a fork.
Comté etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst Comté etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Serving spoiled Comté.
- 5/10. Pairing Comté with fish or seafood.
Additional information for properly serving Comté
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Comté contains 419 calories per 100 grams. An average single serving is about 25 grams and contains 105 calories.
How to buy the best Comté
A crucial factor in Comté etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
Comté is available all year round.
Choose the best
Comté must have an AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) seal on its packaging. The seal guarantees that the cheesemaker complied with all the necessary quality requirements.
Before buying it, check the expiration date. Then, smell the cheese and check that there is no sign of mold. Comté should have a pleasant, mild smell. If you notice a foul odor, do not buy it.
Alternatives to Comté
Cheeses with a similar texture and aroma profile are Gruyere, Fontina, and Beaufort.