Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Cheese of the Month - Langres


Much as I like to sample as many different styles as possible for this blog, the fact is that pungent, soft cheeses are what I keep coming back to. Epoisses is an old favourite, Stinking Bishop a regular in my fridge, and now the new kid on the block is Langres from the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.

This particular example was from Whole Foods in Kensington, not really my favourite cheese shop (impressive at first, a more thorough investigation reveals a huge amount of rather boring cheeses, albeit presented quite nicely) but I happened to be in the area. The Langres caught my eye by having a lovely orange washed rind (with Champagne, naturally) and because it looked like it was sagging under the weight of its own ripeness like a little deflated pumpkin. Quite charming.


October is apparently quite late in the season for these cheeses, but the extra ripeness seems only to have improved the flavour and texture. The flesh was just soft enough towards the rind to have that syrupy Epoisses-style mouthfeel but the chalkiness in the centre held it all together enough to be able to serve it in attractive, gloopy wedges. It was, as I'd been let to expect, not quite as powerful as Epoisses but it still had bags of salty, creamy flavour.

The remaining Langres that we didn't manage to finish off on Saturday night now reminds me of its presence every time I open my fridge door, but I'm sure it won't last long. This characterful little cheese will be making a return visit to Battersea in the near future, I'm sure.

8/10

8 comments:

Loving Annie said...

Sounds interesting ! Reminds me of the enormous cheese selection at La Gavroche !

Matt said...

If Satan had a cat, that looks like what I'd imagine the cat would leave in Hell's litter tray :-)

What's your favourite cheese that can easily be picked up from a Supermarket?

Helen said...

mmmmm, love a good stinker! Epoisses is one of my favourites too although I must make an effort to eat more Stinking Bishop and the Langres I have never even tried. I am liking the picture of you cutting a wedge and it oozing out the bottom, that's great. I also like your desciption of the Epoisses as syrupy, that's a really good way to describe it, might have to nick that...

Chris said...

Annie - I'll have to take your word for it. LeGav is on my wishlist.

Matt - The only cheese I get from a supermarket apart from bog-standard cheddar to put on cheese on toast is halloumi. Whenever you eat halloumi in a restaurant, it's always the same stuff you can get from ASDA. Tastes bloody lovely as well.

Helen - Cheese and Biscuits is strictly copywrited, although I'm sure we can come to some arrangement vis a vis licensing rights. Buy me a drink, and you can have my cheese descriptions.

Miss Maz Hardey said...

i LOVE the mix of cheese and champagne, an essential and very satisfying combination. Can the same be found for goats/sheeps cheeses as well as cows?...

i'm thinking aperitif's and some devine related cheese board nibs :-D

Chris said...

Maz: There are loads of alcohol-washed goats cheeses in Nantes/Brittany in France, although they're pretty hard to come by over here. Maybe try Google for suppliers?

Kang L said...

My knees go weak for soft cheese myself, though I'm not that thrillseeking when it comes to cheeses, just usually pick up something ive never tried b4 when I go to selfriedges every now n again.

I went through a period of having brie de meaux every day for lunch for about a month. Not only did I manage to scare away my housemates, I stank up my old uni too :D

fontainefleurie said...

looks like yammie - we have a holidayhome near Langres. I had tried a similar one (will ask next time for the name) from the cheesemaker in Fayl-Billot, and it stinks so much that my children almost fainted. But the taste is great. Thank you for sharing the information - and I like the photo!
greetings Dorie