Discovering new and interesting cheeses expands our minds and allows us to try unique and different flavours. In this article, we take a look at the French cheese Langres.
What is Langres Cheese?
Langres is a semi-soft cow milk cheese. It is produced in the Champagne-Ardenne region in France, specifically in the town of Langres. Langres is a washed-rind cheese, with a bright orange rind. It is strong, salty and spicy in flavour. Matured for 5-8 weeks, each wheel is small and weighs 180g.
Langres Flavour and Texture:
Although Langres is a washed rind cheese, it is very mild in comparison to other cheeses in its family such as Epoisses and Munster. However, the flavours are comparable, it is still salty, spicy and pungent in flavour. The savoury and earthy flavours are typical for soft French cheese.
Langres texture is dependent on how long it was matured for. It will have a chalky texture if matured for 5 weeks. In contrast, if matured for closer to 8 weeks, the texture is firm but still very light and creamy. It is perfect for melting in the mouth.
Langres is very aesthetically pleasing, the petite wheels make a beautiful feature on a cheeseboard. It has an orange rind, giving it a unique colour. A Langres wheel is first covered with Penicillium Candidum, to give the cheese a light, bloomy rind. Similarly, this mould type is used to create the rind of cheeses like Camembert and Brie.
The cheese is then washed in brine and annatto, to enhance the flavour and colour. Therefore, the rind is edible. Langres has a beautiful orange exterior but white and bright in the centre.
Pair Langres with Champagne. As the cheese is originally from the Champagne region in France this makes for an ideal pairing. Langres has a sunken dip in the middle of the cheese. Traditionally, Champagne was poured into this whole, then as the cheese was cut it ran down the cheese, making a rich pairing. Langres is only rotated once during maturation. The weight of the liquid in the cheese causes it to collapse.
Alternatively, pair Langres with rich and fruity red wine, such as Pinot Noir.
How to store:
Good news! Langres cheese does not need to be eaten straight away, and will also keep if you do not eat it all in one sitting. Aim to eat within 2 weeks of purchasing, and 2-3 days after opening. Ensure Langres is kept in airtight packaging to prevent it from drying out.
When Langres cheese has a strong ammonia taste and smell, this is the time to throw it away and buy new.