Comté is more than just a cheese. Here, it is heritage. In the olden days, the harsh climate forced people to plan their food supply to last through the winter. They needed to produce a cheese with a long shelf life and began by pooling the milk from different farms. This sharing of the farmers' 'fruit' gave rise to the famous cheese dairies known locally as 'fruitières'... and to comté and other delicious cheeses like morbier, mont d'or and bleu de Gex.

An organised industry

This cooperative spirit of solidarity is still alive today, in a robust professional network across the French side of the Jura mountains, from the northern end of Doubs to the boundaries of Ain.

The comté cheese sector boasts 2,700 farms, 160 'fruitières' and 16 ripening cellars and sales outlets. Annual production is in excess of 55,000 tonnes of comté.

Behind the scenes of comté cheese

Jura Mountains, where Comté rules

From the rich prairies grazed by our Montbéliarde cows to the best restaurants and outlets, from the farms and traditional 'fruitières' to the ripening cellars, the Comté Roads wind their way across the Jura massif. A bucolic, informative and mouthwatering trip that reveals the intimate links between a region and its king of cheeses.

Map of Comté roads for download

Comté temple

Ripening cellar, a tour not to be missed

The transformation of comté cheese takes place in the dim light of a ripening cellar. Arranged on planks of spruce, the cheeses require special care and attention: they are regularly salted, rubbed and turned. This is where it takes on its special, unique taste as it ripens for 4 to 18 months, sometimes even 24 months.

'Fruitière' cheese dairies and sales outlets

'Fruitière' is a local term used to name the place where farmers take the milk used to produce comté cheese. So it is a proper production site. Some of these dairies are open to visitors and offer a chance to see one of the stages of comté production. In many cases they also have a shop where you can stock up on comté, of course, but also other iconic cheeses from the local region, like morbier, bleu de Gex and mont-d'or...

List of fruitières

As you've guessed, the Comté Roads inspire a whole range of emotions and sensations, waiting to be experienced during walks and encounters that make the Jura Mountains a land of fabulous wealth, be it natural, cultural or eminently human.

Amazing discoveries!

Other routes and surprises...


Other delicious breaks on the comté theme...

En résumé