I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This Post Really Stinks!

I am fortunate enough to have a good many friends of German heritage. Over the years I have grown to have a great fondness for many German dishes. The one thing I did not try until I was 37 years old was Limburger Cheese (a traditionally German product but is also made in the United States). I just could never get past the smell. I remember when I was younger my parents buying dark bread, some red onion and Limburger cheese, they were determined to try it. They sliced the onion nice and thin, lightly spread a little butter on the bread, opened the package of Limburger and proceeded to quickly dispose of it in the garbage. They were so disappointed but they said it just smelled rotten and they couldn’t get it past their noses. I never forgot that smell either and swore that I would never bother trying Limburger Cheese again from that day forward. But many years ago a new friend I had made, both her and her mother absolutely adored Limburger Cheese sandwiches with a cold beer to wash it down. They would beg me to have one but I’d always go that’s okay you both enjoy it. I would wait outside to avoid the smell. On and off for months and months they would beg me to try a Limburger sandwich, they both said once I get it past my nose that I will love it. They said it is one of the purest tasting cheeses around. Well needless to say her and her mother wore me down and I agreed nervously to try it. Well to make a long story short, they were right, it was delicious and I’ve been a fan ever since. Here are a few different ways people traditionally eat these sandwiches.

Found this helpful hint in an article that I had read:
“To control the odor of Limburger, rinse the rind or cut it off altogether, recommends Myron Olson of Chalet Cheese Co-op. And by all means, store Limburger in a glass jar. This will contain the smell without adversely affecting the cheese. "Limburger is a table cheese," says Myron. While you can include in any meal ("at breakfast with toast, in a sandwich for lunch, with potatoes for dinner"), you won't often find it listed as an ingredient in recipes. Myron explains: "It doesn't cook well because when you warm it, the heat intensifies the smell”.

Limburger Cheese Sandwiches

1) Thinly sliced pumpernickel or whole grain bread, Limburger cheese, thinly sliced onions, butter and Pepper to taste.

2) Pumpernickel bread, preferably German, or crusty seeded rye bread, Limburger cheese, Anchovy fillets in olive oil.

3) Sliced pumpernickel or rye bread, Limburger cheese, thinly sliced onions, sliced liverwurst or Braunschweiger, horseradish to taste.

4) Rye bread (dark or light, pumpernickel, sauerkraut rye, etc.), Mustard (sweet-hot, brown, whole grain, etc.), Sliced Limburger (at any age you prefer, washed or not, rind-on or rind-off), Thick slices of sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla-Walla, etc.)


Christine said...

So interesting to see this on your blog this morning. I watched a show on the History channel, Modern Marvels, last night all about cheese making and one of the highlights was Limburger cheese. There is only one manufacturer in the US that makes this cheese. I have never seen it in a store here in AZ but if I do, I might just be daring enough to try it!

Patricia Scarpin said...

You are very brave! I don't know if I'd be courageous enough to try this cheese. ;)

Julie said...

Hi Christine, I believe the only state in the U.S. that is making Limburger is in Wisconsin.

Julie said...

Patricia trust me I wouldn't try this cheese until I was 37 years old and it took alot of prodding to get me to do it....but I am glad that I did.

Helena>38 said...

I've been enjoying your posts very much. What wonderful recipes you have.

I loved that you point out that the kitchen is a place to create memories. I couldn't agree more :)

About the cheese...well, I'm not sure if and when I'll ever give this cheese a try. I am a bit of a chicken. It took me until I was 30 to even try swiss cheese. To this day I still gag a little at the smell. I'm afraid to say what may happen if I smelled this cheese :(

Nonetheless, I love the pairings you show for this cheese. It actually sounds delish.

Julie said...

Thank you Helena, It is amazing how a food that can smell so bad could actually taste so good.

Chris said...

I am with the others - don't know if I could do it!

Julie said...

I understand Chris, it only took me about 30 years to summon up the courage to try it.