(Now I’m wondering if Biergartens were invented so people could eat their smelly Geman cheese in peace…)
Photos by Pixabay or Depositphotos
Smelly German Cheese
I’m sure it’s no accident that Germans call stinky feet “Käsefüß”, meaning “cheese foot”.
Limburger cheese has the distinction of being the most pungent cheese in the world. It originated in Belgium but is now made mostly by the Germans. It has a soft, creamy texture and a taste that’s earthy, almost meaty in flavor. Although many people swear by the taste, a high regard for the odor definitely must be acquired. The famous aroma is due to Brevibacterium linens (an enzyme partly responsible for the smell of the human body) breaking down certain proteins which lie on the surface of the cheese giving rise to what can only be described as a “stinky” odor. It smells like feet… really stinky teenage boy feet.
You can buy Limburger Cheese HERE–> Bayerischer Limburger Käse
Liederkranz isn’t strictly German, more like German-American. It was first made in New York by German immigrants because their beloved Limburger didn’t travel well (Actually, I wonder if it’s the cheese that didn’t travel well, or that fellow passengers threw it overboard…). This soft brick shaped cheese is the first cousin to Limburger with just as strong a smell (actually, the description reads “strong aroma and full-bodied flavor). By the 1920s, this cheese found a large fan base in Wisconsin. In the 1980s, the factory discontinued making Liederkranz… but fans rallied, and 25 years later, the stinky stuff is back in Milwaukee Biergartens.!
Order Liederkranz Cheese Here–> Liederkranz Cheese
Bierkäse or Weisslackerkäse
Don’t mix up Bierkäse with Beer Cheese. Bierkäse is a brick shaped member of the cheddar family. (Beer Cheese is a cheese spread that has a pungency all it’s own, mostly because of garlic). It gets the name Weisslackerkäse (white lacquer cheese) from the varnish-like mold coat it gets while ripening in humid conditions (sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?). The flavor of this German cheese is both tangy and pungent but its characteristically pungent odor doesn’t stop this cheese from being enjoyed on a slab of rye bread along with a healthy spoonful of spicy mustard. Once you get past the smell, cheese lovers agree, the flavor of this cheese is quite satisfying. Serve with a beer for maximum delicious effect. In fact, it’s customary to even DIP this cheese into your beer.
The Rotschmierkäse (red spread cheese) gets its name from the sticky red rind that covers this especially pungent cheese. The cheese is bathed in red-mold cultures and brine several times during the ripening process… constantly adding more flavor (and odor) to this spicy and piquant cheese. You can eat the Rotschmierkäse while it’s still immature.. the inside will have a quark-like consistency, and is a bit milder. As the cheese matures, the soft center shrinks, and the cheese takes on more flavor and a much stronger smell. Feel free to eat the rind too…
Handkäse (mit Musik)
Handkäse (or hand cheese), a specialty of Frankfurt, might be the stinkiest nastiest cheese of all. The name comes because it’s rolled by hand. It’s a “smeared acid curd” cheese made from soured milk (I looked at a few technical cheese making articles about what the heck a smeared acid curd is… and I’m still not clear. Let’s just say there is yeast or bacteria, and it’s complicated). The cheese is then ripened in a sweating room. In the end you get a somewhat translucent cheese whose smell reminds me of the time I drove 5 teen soccer players home after a particularly active game. (My eyes melted, and I had to open the windows, even though it was raining). Handkäse lovers adore this stuff… especially when served with a raw onion vinaigrette. (Turns out, this is where the music comes in… it’s a fart joke… ) Handkäse is sold with and without Caraway seeds. Read more about the wonders of Handkäse here on the Spoonfuls of Germany blog.
If you’re a cheese fan and you don’t mind a little odor, you may want to give these odoriferous cheeses a try. Fortunately, their taste is a lot more appealing than their smell!
Order a Selection of German Cheeses HERE
A nice selection of delicious German Cheese…
igourmet Butterkase (7.5 ounce)igourmet German Tilsit – Pound Cut (15.5 ounce)Handful of German Cheese by Gourmet-FoodIgourmet Oktoberfest Cheese Assortment, 2-PoundBrick – German Brick Cheese 8 oz.German Cambozola Blue – 1 lbQuark by Vermont Creamery (8 ounce)igourmet Beer Kaese (7.5 ounce)