Gastronomy and local specialities

Comté and Other Cheese Makers

From the Middle Ages, the long, hard winters in the Jura mountains prompted locals to make milk into a cheese to be set aside and matured. The cheese was then known as Vachelin. These were long-lasting cheeses that aged well, making them ideal for export and a source of new revenues. A lot of milk was needed to make these large cheese “wheels” (500 litres on average), so local farmers formed cooperatives and brought their milk to the “fructerie” or cheese factory, now called the “fruitière” (because they fructified their individual contributions here). Due to its specific character, Comté was one of the first French cheeses to be given the Protected Designation of Origin label (AOP in French) in 1958.

To explore the secrets and skill of cheese-making, head for the cheese factories with their visitors’ galleries…

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