Bigger than Cheeses - Limburger
These are 2 cheeses I have in the fridge right now. No blue, shame, shame.
Limburger is a cheese that originated during the 19th century in the historical Duchy of Limburg, which is now divided among modern-day Belgium, Germany, and Netherlands. The cheese is especially known for its pungent odor commonly compared to body odor.
In its first month, the cheese is firmer and more crumbly, similar to the texture of feta cheese. After about six weeks, the cheese becomes softer along the edges but is still firm on the inside and can be described as salty and chalky. After two months of its life, it is mostly creamy and much smoother. Once it reaches three months, the cheese produces its notorious smell because the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese and many other smear-ripened cheeses is Brevibacterium linens, the same one found on human skin that is partially responsible for body odor and particularly foot odor.
A washed-rind cheese from Quebec that I am liking a bit. Washed-rind cheeses are, during production, repeatedly wiped or brushed with, or dunked in a liquid such as saltwater, brine, or an alcohol (including beer or brandy). This process helps to limit which bacteria will grow on the cheese and to produce a firm, flavourful rind around the cheese. The process requires regular “washings”, particularly in the early stages of production, making it quite labour intensive compared to other methods of cheese production.
Some washed-rind cheeses are also smear-ripened with solution of bacteria or fungi, (most commonly Brevibacterium linens, Debaryomyces hansenii, and/or Geotrichum candidum) which usually gives them a stronger flavor as the cheese matures. In some cases, older cheeses are smeared on young cheeses to transfer the microorganisms. Many, but not all, of these have a distinctive pinkish or orange colouring to the exterior of the cheese. Unlike other washed-rind cheeses, the washing is done to ensure uniform growth of desired bacteria or fungus and to prevent the growth of undesired molds. Notable examples of smear-ripened cheeses include Munster and Port du Salut.
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