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What is a comparable cheese to Comte'?

Angelina May 9, 2008 07:47 AM

I have been looking in my foodstore (Wegmans in NJ) and they never have it! Although they advirtise it, they still have not gotten it. Since I have never tried this cheese, waht would you compare it to?

I wanted to make the Asparagus-Ricotta Tart W/ Comte' Cheese in April issue of Bon Appetit, but I need a comparable cheese.

Thanks everyone!! :)

  1. paulj May 9, 2008 09:20 AM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comte_cheese
    http://www.foodsubs.com/Chesfirm.html
    It's a semi-firm cheese, in the broader 'swiss cheese' category, specifically a Gruyere (as opposed to the large eye Emmentaler.

    paulj

    1. Miss Needle May 9, 2008 10:26 AM

      According to Thomas Keller, emmental cheese would be the most appropriate substitute. If you don't have it, gruyere will do (but will be stronger than) Comte.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Miss Needle
        MMRuth May 9, 2008 10:43 AM

        I think of Emmenthaler as having a stronger flavor than most Comtes that I've had (not that I want to be disagreeing w/ Thomas Keller!!). I'd be temped to try a Fontina Val d'Aosta myself, if available, or else Gruyere.

      2. perk May 9, 2008 10:54 AM

        Just fyi--I found out at my local Costco.

        1 Reply
        1. re: perk
          yayadave May 9, 2008 12:24 PM

          Maybe I missed something. What did you find out?

        2. r
          rockycat May 9, 2008 10:55 AM

          Funny, I had exactly the same question. That tart looks interesting but no Comte available here. Gruyere or Fontina - maybe that I can manage.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rockycat
            MMRuth May 9, 2008 10:58 AM

            Or maybe even a combination of the two.

          2. Will Owen May 9, 2008 12:02 PM

            Well, without doing the wikipedia thing or whatever, I'll say that several of the items I've read about Comté have said that it's a variety of Gruyère. Funny that Miss Needle says Gruyère would be stronger, as most of what I get is in fact milder than the Comté I buy at Trader Joe's. FWIW, the reason I bought it was to make gougères, as it was the cheese called for in two of my recipes for that, although others tell me that any cheese that melts well may be used, depending on what sort of flavor you want.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen
              Miss Needle May 9, 2008 02:10 PM

              Actually, the Grueyere comment was from Keller as well. I'm pretty sure I'm remembering it correctly though I don't have the book in front of me. I'll double check when I get home.

              1. re: Miss Needle
                Miss Needle May 10, 2008 02:35 PM

                Okay. I'm home now and have Keller's Bouchon cookbook in front of me. He's talking about this in reference to his recipe for onion soup.

                "Comte is traditionally the cheese of choice, but Emmentaler works as well. Gruyere is a bit strong."

                So he is talking about these cheeses in relation to onion soup. So I guess he's not saying that Emmentaler is a sub for comte, but can be used instead of comte for onion soup. But, to me, it seems that his statement is simplying that grueyere is stronger than comte.

                1. re: Miss Needle
                  paulj May 10, 2008 03:24 PM

                  With cheeses like this, there are two issues, how it melts, and how it tastes. All these 'swiss' cheese melt nicely. All have a 'nutty' taste. Other than that, why not just use what you can find, afford and like?

                  Consider for example a recipe that calls for a cheddar. If the recipe calls for an 18mth NY sharp, would you substitute a Vermont one that is only 9 mths old? Or how about one of the less expensive imports that Trader Joes carries (from Ireland or New Zealand)?

                  In most cases the taste differences are not all that big. A chef in a high end restaurant can afford to be picky, finding the exact one that suits his taste. But I see little point in buying a $20/lb cheese when I would just as happy with one that sells for $10/lb.

                  paulj

            2. Angelina May 12, 2008 06:59 AM

              WOW!! Thank you all! You have all been such a great help! More helpful from some of the workers at the cheese dept. Have a great day!!!

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