Friday, January 15, 2021

Home Eat & Drink Matt's Cheesy Bits: This Week—Comte vs. Gruyere

Matt's Cheesy Bits: This Week—Comte vs. Gruyere

Certified Cheese Expert and Caputo’s owner Matt Caputo tells us what cheese to buy this week and why:

 From time to time we get customers who bemoan the fact that we don’t regularly carry Comte, which is France’s most popular cheese in France. Gruyere is from just over the border in Switzerland and at one time they were considered the same cheese as they are extremely similar and some would argue identical except for the name. We carry Gruyere year round instead of Comte. The reasons are many.

For one, it is easier to find a great Gruyere at a reasonable price than Comte and even cheese geeks would be hard pressed to tell them apart in a blind taste test. Additionally, the best of these cheeses come in full 80 pound wheels. As a retailer, buying them pre-cut is a sin. It is also simply easier to sell Gruyere in the US as more people come in looking for it.

After these monstrous 80 pound wheels are cut into you only have a couple weeks until their most complex aromas dissipate. If you buy it pre-cut and they do so before it even leaves the factory, obviously the window has passed. This is unfortunately how most Gruyere and Comte is sold in America.

This quick dissipation of flavor combined with how long it can take even the busiest cheese retailers to sell a whole 80/lb wheel forces most cheese retailers to choose either Gruyere or Comte. These cheeses are so similar and carrying both is basically like splitting your sales in half.

This month at Caputo’s we are lucky enough to have dedicated and flexible restaurant customers. Evan Lewandowski, sommelier and fromager atPago (ed. note: Salt Lake magazine named Pago this year’s Best Restaurant at the recent 2014 Dining Awards) promised that if we brought in Comte that he would jump on board and even change his by the glass wine menu to match.

Well I could not resist too long. Finally, Caputo’s now has not one but two full wheels of Comte. The first is a young 6 month from Rivoire Jacquemin and will retail for $16.99/lb. The second is produced by the elite Saint Antoine and is aged for 30 months by the legendary affineur Jean d’ Alos. It retails for $29.99/lb. Both bear the green label which means they are both in the top 2% of Comte production. As always Caputo’s still has a wonderful full wheel Gruyere for $15.99/lb.

Come taste all three at Caputo’s. As usual, samples are always free. See which one you think reigns supreme, Gruyere or Comte. Of course to make this a fair comparison I would have to also bring in a fourth 80 lb wheel of Rolf Beeler Gruyere. Hmm.

Our Jan/Feb issue is out on stands now! This issue means so much to us. Made with lots of love and tears. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it. ❤️ ...

Here's one from our upcoming Jan/Feb issue out on stands in just a few days. We hope you’ll grab a copy and enjoy every moment of reading it.⁠

Mary photobombs Lisa Barlow at the premiere party for Real Housewives of Salt Lake. Below is a snippet from Mary's last editor's letter:⁠

"It’s all a little crazy.⁠
Sometime in 2020, the world stopped making sense for a lot of us. Between one of the ugliest election cycles the U.S. has ever been through and the most mysterious disease most of us have ever experienced, normal was canceled. We can’t get together with friends, hug our loved ones, be in the room with them when they die. But somehow we have to go on, right? Somehow we have to continue to work and love and laugh. This issue of Salt Lake magazine holds a lot of frivolity, the main one being an extremely silly TV show, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. There I am in a pink fur coat in a car with our cover housewife, Lisa Barlow and her boys."⁠

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Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday. Be merry, be bright and be good for goodness sake! ✨

Skip the milk and cookies this holiday and leave out something that Santa really wants 🍺😉🎅⁠

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Mary's last-minute holiday gift ideas from last year are still as true and relevant today...⁠

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There was never a time there wasn’t Mary Malouf. Until now. Today, Mary died when a rogue wave swept her out to sea off the coast of Northern California. Only she – perhaps the world’s foremost lover of Bronte, BBC mysteries and, of course, Moby Dick – would appreciate such poetic drama.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” — Mary Brown Malouf. Ooops. Herman Mellville.