Limburger Cheese: Everything You Need to Know
We’re continuing our mission to show you all the cheese that we can by telling you all about Limburger Cheese.
What is Limburger Cheese?
Limburger is rated as one of the stinkiest cheeses in the world! It is a spreadable cheese with an almost bitter flavor. A rind washed cheese, it has a distinct brown-colored rind with semi-soft, ivory cheese inside.
How does Limburger Cheese mature?
The bacteria Brevibacterium linens causes the odor and the maturing process which creates Limburger. When it is young it has a firm, crumbly texture with a salty flavor, like feta. At six weeks, the edges soften but the center stays firm. By two months it is almost all smooth and creamy and by three months it develops its intense smell and flavor.
History of Limburger Cheese
Limburger originated in the historical Duchy of Limburg, which is now divided between modern-day Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. However, most Limburger today comes from Germany. Only one company in the United States still makes it, the Chalet Cheese Cooperative of Monroe, Wisconsin. We’re proud to source our Limburger Cheese from Wisconsin.
What does it taste like?
It can be quite mild but it also has a distinct grassy and mushroom taste. The aftertaste has a tang to it.
How should I eat it?
One of the most traditional ways to eat Limburger Cheese is the Limburger sandwich. The cheese is spread thickly on firm rye bread with a large, thick slice of onion. The sandwich is typically served with strong black coffee or lager beer. Chunks or slices of the cheese up to 1.5 cm thick may be cut off the block and placed in the sandwich. This still remains very popular among the descendants of German immigrants residing in the Midwest of America. In Wisconsin, you can still find the Limburger sandwich on menus, accompanied with brown mustard.
It can also be used to make an extra pungent mac and cheese. Simply stir some into the sauce and top with a rye breadcrumb for some extra crunch.
We really recommend trying the Limburger sandwich for the true experience. If you love it then you can add it wherever you might usually enjoy cheese: a grilled cheese, grated on top of dishes or over fries. It may not work so well on a cheeseboard because the aroma is likely to affect your enjoyment of the other cheeses.
What should I drink with Limburger Cheese?
Limburger Cheese is too overpowering to serve with wine. It’s usually served with lager or strong black coffee. A Belgian style beer would also pair well with it.
Have you tried Limburger Cheese? Have you braved its pungent odour? Will you be trying the sandwich? Let us know in the comments!