France produces an average of 10.2 billion liters of milk per year, 43% of which is in the form of cheese. From brie to gruyère to roquefort, when we think of cheese, it all comes back to France.
This video by Tastemade will show you where most of that cheese comes from — the Jura region of France, famous for its unparalleled comté. Unparalleled in that it literally cannot be replicated elsewhere in the world, as only Montbéliarde or French Simmental cows from the region are qualified to produce the milk required to make it. The milk from these cows is then shaped in copper pans and turned into the largest, heaviest cheese wheels you can imagine.
When picking up a wheel of comté (or even a slice) at your local fromager, be sure to check how long the cheese has affiné, or aged. The taste changes from year to year, and any fromager worth his curds will be able to steer you towards your new fermented favorite.
Want to watch Americans try real French cheese? (It doesn’t taste anything like the American version of French cheese so reactions are… intense.) Check out this video.