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.