This is another one of those items that has a legendary bad reputation. It has been immortalized in movies, TV, and cartoons as the go to item when you need something stinky.
If it is too stinky for Abbott and Costello it must be bad.
Of course I had to test this sinsiter monstrosity for myself. I actually picked it up a couple weeks ago and it has been staring at me from my fridge ever since. When I bought it at the store I picked it up and inhaled deeply, It was a strong smell but not offensive at all. I’m sure the people in the cheese department at the store wondered what the heck I was doing snorting the Limburger.
I pulled it out of my fridge and again smelled it through the package, it really wasn’t bad at all, stinky but no worse than other soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert. I peeled open the foil and got right in close for a snort, I didn’t turn green or pass at. Certainly stronger now that it was open, slightly feety but not overwhelming. The rind was very firm, and I suspected it was preventing the worst of the smell from escaping.
Time to slice open this brick of funk and see what all the hub bub was about. I got right up close as I sliced into it to catch the first whiff. The odor was in full effect now but I was not blowing my hair back or making me flee the room. Sure it was a pungent smell,mildly reminiscent of feet or BO, but then again so is a lot of cheese. The rind appeared to be a touch fuzzy, so I took off a slice and prepared to scoop out the inside.
After cutting out the middle I took a big bite. And I was in love. This stuff was delicious. Rich, creamy, and smooth with strong flavor that again reminded me of Camembert in the best possible ways. It has that earthy flavor like mushrooms, albeit with a bit more punch. I immediately scooped out a couple more blobs and spread them on my waiting crackers so I could continue my enjoyment. I spread it pretty thick so that it would really stand up to the strong flavor of the rye crackers.
It was perfect. I only wish I had been smart enough to slice up some red onion to serve along with it in the traditional Limburger sandwich style. Limburger is a cheese that can hang with those big flavors and not get lost in the shuffle,which is a huge positive for me.To be certain I wasn’t missing anything I did a retest after letting the cheese sit at room temp for a couple hours. The smell was much much stronger, borderline offensive, but the flavor was only a bit stronger and it actually enhanced it for me. I’m actually thinking I could make this into a surprising cheese spread for a party. Finely dice some red onion, add some toasted cracked caraway seeds and mix it all up as a spread. Absent the hype I’m sure that fans of other soft cheeses would love it.
Limburger is a slam dunk “Try It” if you love cheese.