The stinkiest cheese

Like most couples, my husband and I had many differences and many similarities. We grew up in different countries and a continent apart. But, we both grew up on farms.
Howard had a natural love of adventure and sometimes lived quite dangerously. He wanted to try everything—at least once! And having done something once, he would always look for a more innovative way to perform the same task the next time. Experimentation and change were at the core of his being.
I, on the other hand, preferred staying home where it was safe and comfortable.
My ancestors came to the United States in the 1830s, while Howard’s ancestors came a century earlier. We both had some ancestors who came from Alsace-Lorraine and we both had roots in eastern Canada.
And one special thing we had in common—we both loved “stinky” Limburger cheese. This unique cheese is manufactured by the Oak Grove Cheese Company in New Hamburg, Ontario, which has been in operation since 1879. When our forefathers left Ontario, they took their taste for Limburger with them and shared it with us.
Growing up in the dairy country of northern New York, my family had delicious fresh cheeses from our local cheese factory. My favorites were always fresh cheese curd and properly ripened Limburger.
Although we all loved aromatic Limburger, one time my father bought some blue cheese and my mother couldn’t understand why he brought that “moldy” stuff home.
But, back to Limburger. It is a very old cheese first made in the 19th century in the historical Duchy of Limburg, which is now divided among modern-day Belgium, Germany and Netherlands. Thus, the name—“Limburger” cheese!
Limburger was first brought to the United States in 1853. And the very first production site was in the small village of Rodman in northern New York. At one time, Jefferson County had 40 Limburger cheese factories.
Today Limburger is made only in Monroe, Wisconsin; Linwood, Michigan; and New Hamburg, Ontario.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with Limburger, it’s time that I introduce you!
Here’s how Limburger is described at “This cheese gets more pungent with age. When the cheese is very young, up to one month old, it is firm, crumbly and salty, much like Feta cheese. At six weeks, it is softening on the corners but still has a firm center that’s salty and chalky.
At two months, the core is almost gone and the body is smooth and creamy. At three months or more, it’s developed an intense smell and flavor; it’s spreadable, pungent and almost bitter.”
No question about it, Limburger is the stinkiest cheese in the world. The strong odor is often compared to body odor and smelly feet!
As a result, the world can be divided into two kinds of people—“Limburger lovers” and “Limburger haters.”
But, don’t let the smell keep you from trying this gourmet treat. After all, we serious connoisseurs must have some reason for loving it.
The best way to eat Limburger is with rye bread or soda crackers, mustard and sliced onions.
Why not give your taste buds a little adventure and try Limburger cheese today!
Copyright 2015. Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist.
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