Comté is an absolute must for those festive cheese boards

Comté have enjoyed an outstanding year as far as UK sales are concerned, and as the end of the year grows ever closer, they can help you say goodbye to 2012 in style by becoming that very special must have that everyone wants on their cheese boards over the festive season.

The Christmas Comté is to embark on a feast packed full of fun and festive activities. From cheesy tweets through to Xmas road show across the country, there is something for every lover of Comté to get their teeth in to. The return of the much loved Comté Roadshow is the highlight of the Christmas calendar, which proved massive hit during the summer when it took in farmers markets and food festivals.

More than 350,000 people visited the stall and took away over 30,000 leaflets and recipe cards. And the Comté team sold an impressive 400 kilos of the cheese in just seven dates.

The Comté Festive Foodie Market Roadshow is set to be even better. With its pop up stall visiting a whole host of places up and down the country throughout November and December, including The Gloucester Quay’s Victorian Christmas Market, The Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate and The Taste of Christmas market in London.

The Festive Roadshow gives cheese lovers an ideal opportunity to get hold of their ‘something special’ to sit perfectly alongside a traditional cheddar, blue cheese, and soft cheese on that Christmas Cheeseboard.

For those who enjoy a good tweet, The 12 Cheeses of Christmas is the perfect way to join in the pun. Comté fans can go online to twitter.com/Comte_Cheese and tweet their alternatives to the famous Christmas carol on each of the 12 days of Christmas to win delicious Comté Christmas hampers.

Comté is, quite uniquely, an excellent pairing with both red and white wine along with a good fizz – making it a star cheese for the festive period. A younger Comté is recommended for new champagnes, whereas the more mature cheeses pair better with the more full-bodied and older wines.

Christmas is the season to be jolly, after all, and the rich, toasty, nutty aromas and subtle flavours of citrus fruit that characterise older Comté are wonderfully enhanced by the fizz of the wine.

Comté is also enjoyed with something tangy and sweet, such as a confit or grapes to complement the cheese’s flowery undertones. Likewise something savoury such as a cracker or cold meat pairs nicely with the saltiness of the cheese, particularly the older varieties.

For a really Christmassy addition to the cheeseboard, a mature Comté with fig chutney is highly recommended. The rustic flavours of Comté and fig are perfectly matched, and when you’re rushed off your feet this festive period will make a mouth-watering, yet fuss-free treat.

But delicious Comté doesn’t have to be saved for just the festive season. It’s among the most versatile staples for any good cheeseboard. In fact,Britons are now consuming 200 tons of Comté a year following the high praise and string of recipes using the cheese from the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Raymond Blanc.

And with famous foodie fans like Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary Portas already sold on the delights of Comté, the British public is catching up on a love-affair with France’s premium and popular hard cheese.Comté spokesperson Aurélia Chimier, said: “It’s been a great year for Comté. Sales have soared and it seems British foodies are really taking the cheese to their hearts.”

“So what better way to round off an amazing 2012, than to enjoy Comté at Christmas. It’s a very versatile cheese, matching well with a range of red and white wines and, of course, Champagne!As an AOC product, Comté is particularly special. Only milk from Montbéliarde cows can be used to produce Comté, in an artisanal cheese-production process dating back over 1000 years.

The cheeses are aged from four months and 18 months in specialised caves, with the oldest Comtés commanding the highest prices. You can find out more about Comté at www.comtecheese.co.uk and even follow it on twitter at @comte_cheese