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This cheese originated in the Jura mountain range of eastern France where the main cheese produced was Comte. In the winter, when the milk supply was lower, the farmers didn’t have enough milk from the morning milking to make a full wheel, so they made what they could and filled the form half way with curds. To keep flies, microbes, and molds from setting up shop on the curds they covered it with a thin layer of ash derived from the soot that collected on the bottom of their copper caldrons. After the evening milking, a second layer of curds was added onto of the first, and the finished wheel of cheese then had a characteristic black line running through the middle. During the aging process, this cheese is washed with a bacterial brine to create a slightly pungent, orangish gray rind.