Type: Soft washed rind
Milk: Cow's milk
Animal breed: Vosgean, Montbeliarde, Holstein
Size of cheese: 6cm
Location: Haute-Marne, Champagne Ardenne
Season: Year round
Langres is a washed rind cheese, hailing from the Langres plateau which lies on the cusp of two great wine producing regions - Champagne and Burgundy. The cheese's distinctive orange rind is gained through a series of washes, first in annatto (a natural colourant used to develop the cheese's ruddy hue) and then in Marc de Bourgogne, an eau de vie made from Champagne grape skins.
The cheeses are washed up to 8 times in a solution of Marc de Bourgogne - by affineurs at the Mons caves in France, and then by our mongers here in Bermondsey. If you ever see us 'painting' cheese at one of our stalls, you now know what we are doing. Washing encourages the development of a pinky orange coloured bacteria (B.linens) to develop in the rind, and aids in the breakdown of the cheese's lactic, chalky centre into something more unctuous and creamy. It also adds a pleasant fruity, boozy note to the finish. Langres is sticky, meaty and moreish, and is a perennial favourite on our counter.