Archive | July, 2014

How much LANGRES are we going to wait?

13 Jul

So the other day I was late.

I was late to go to a friends house as I was distracted by free-flow wine at my work-place. I am not proud of my lateness, but I feel that the above free booze situation counts as a semi-valid excuse.

To make amends for this lateness I popped into the Tesco at Liverpool Street and decided to buy treats…..and what better treats than Tesco Finest Langres cheese and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice-cream?

The tool of forgiveness

The friendship-fixer

On the way to my friends house I bumped into a colleague who scoffed at my choice of forgiveness tactics– but she could not take part in our cheese and ice-cream feast and so sadly could never know the power of a cheese and ice-cream pairing. I still to this day feel a bit sorry for her. One day she’ll know….one day.

To re-create this wonderful friendship affirming Langres moment I popped into La Cave a Fromage in South Kensington today to buy some cave aged prime quality Langres, darling. A step up from my drunken ‘Tesco Finest’ night as I knew this one was going to be ripe and mature- a sober and more powerful alternative.


A mini volcano of cheesy goodness

A mini volcano of cheesy goodness

Langres hails from the Champagne-Ardenne region of France so straight away it screams decadence. You can just think of Marie Antoinette sipping her champagne, eating her cake and tucking into a nice plate of Langres (I’m also sure she would have been a HUGE fan of Ben & Jerrys). That being said when I peeled away it’s wrapper it’s orange coating made me think of someone rubbing Doritos or Cheetos onto its exterior…which brought down the decadent tone just a tad.

The little volcano indent found at the top of the cheese means you can pour your champagne straight onto this bad boy (or I presume any drink of choice?) and it will hold the alcohol like a mini cup letting it breach into its insides for extra flavour– sometimes it can even be washed in Marc de Champagne. Fancy that- a cheese with a champagne bath?! This cheese would definitely own a few very big houses in the country.

‘Chateau de Langres’…just a casual weekend getaway (actually Chateau Perrier in Epernay for any curious readers…but we can but pretend)

Langres is a complex character– posh background, AOC protected status, common crisp coloured exterior and when you bite into it you get a range of tastes and textures.

First it’s sour- a bit like butter-milk, next it’s a bit sweet- (perhaps a hint of condensed milk?), tangy bursts, Sweet and sour and then an acidic after-taste. In a weird way it sort of reminded me of eating grapefruit– you get one taste whilst eating it, but then a completely different after-taste. A deceiver of a cheese perhaps?

It’s texture is soft and pate-like with a bit of crumble in the middle- it envelops the mouth and leaves no taste-bud left unturned.

Langres shares a cheese family with Epoisses and Munster- cheese heavy-weights. Huge stinky beasts of cheese that would dominate a whole room. Epoisses is even banned from French public transport as it’s so dominating. In comparison Langres is memorable yet inoffensive. A gentleman with a dodgy family that may never go through his rebellious phase.

‘Good-day to you kind cheese eaters…I do hope you have not met my brothers’

Ironically, in my failure to be an ideal dinner guest I bought a cheese that would make the ideal dinner companion. Complex, inoffensive yet powerful, hailing from a background of champagne baths, with a host of interesting family stories. Langres might leave a bitter taste in your mouth but in its presence you are captivated and left wanting more.

So in a nutshell: I may have been late, but the Langres was definitely worth waiting for.

And with that I shall leave you with Paula Cole’s ‘I Don’t Want to Wait’ (of Dawson’s Creek theme tune fame)…..because at the end of the day, waiting encouraged this Langres eating and who wants to wait for our lives to be over before eating this scrumptious gentleman of a cheese? Definitely not me.