The three cheeses (Abondance, Beaufort, and Comte) have all evolved due
to the need to make a few large cheeses from a large collective
community herd high in the mountains (Alpage) during the summer months.
Due to high temperature scalding the elastic curds are made dry for a
long aging and to accommodate traveling and the rough journey down into
the valley markets.
They are all quite similar but do have defining differences in size, process temperatures, and even the cultures used.
A cheese in the style of Beaufort: For
this recipe I will be focusing on the Beaufort style produced in the
Tarentaise mountains surrounding Mt. Blanc and the heart of the French
Ski Country. This is one of my favorite cheeses and I have spent a bit
of time with the cheese makers at the high mountain chalets during the
morning and afternoon milkings, the cheese making sessions, and in the
salting and aging caves. This recipe will be for 12 gallons of milk
making 2 cheeses about 5.5-6 lb. each (much smaller than the 90-110 lb.
Beaufort cheeses). This recipe can easily be cut in half for a single