Limburger cheese is a unique and distinctively pungent cheese, popularly associated with Germany and the Netherlands. It has been around for centuries, first developed in the 19th century as a regional specialty in the Limburg area of Belgium. Limburger cheese is a semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk and is usually found in large round slabs that have been covered in wax. As the cheese matures, it develops a distinctively pungent aroma and creamy texture, which many people find unappealing.
There are several things which give Limburger cheese its distinctive character. Firstly, the cheese is made using traditional methods, involving natural fermentation; the bacteria which form this cheese are called brevibacterium linens. These bacteria create a unique flavor in the cheese and are responsible for the cheese’s strong aroma. Limburger cheese also contains salt for flavor and proteolytic enzymes which break down proteins. Finally, the cheese is aged for at least three months, which gives it its crumbly texture.
When purchasing Limburger cheese, consumers should be aware that the cheese lasts for a shorter amount of time than other varieties of cheese. The high moisture content in Limburger cheese means that it should be stored carefully, ideally in a refrigerator. Although some people may prefer to purchase their Limburger cheese pre-sliced, it’s best to buy a whole cheese and slice it when needed.
Limburger cheese has a widely varied flavor profile; the cheese can range from being mild and sweet, to being strong and pungent. Its flavor depends on how it is aged, as well as its fat content. It is often described as having a pronounced earthy aroma and flavors, with a touch of nuttiness and pungency.
Despite its pungency, Limburger cheese is actually much milder than many other smelly cheeses, such as blue cheeses, which have a more intense aroma and flavor. Due to its mildness, Limburger cheese is often used as a spreadable cheese. It pairs well with fruit and vegetables, as well as a variety of crusty breads and crackers.
Limburger cheese’s strong smell is one of its most well-known characteristics; it has been known to attract flies and other insects, earning the cheese the nickname “Stinky Cheese.” This aroma can also be quite overpowering, so it’s best to consume the cheese in a well-ventilated area away from other people.
Widely associated with Germany, Limburger cheese is most commonly eaten as part of a sandwich. A classic Limburger sandwich involves putting a piece of the cheese between two pieces of rye bread, along with slices of raw onion, and pickle. Some people also like to spread mustard, butter, or horseradish on their sandwich for an added layer of flavor.
Limburger cheese may not be for everyone, but it has a unique flavor and aroma beloved by many regular consumers. While it may require some getting used to, once you become accustomed to the distinct smell and taste of Limburger cheese, you’ll be sure to love it!