This REALLY, TRULY is the stinkiest cheese I have ever smelled. The honour goes to munster gérômé , the top middle image. You will see from the above poster that in preparation for dinner it has been surrounded by every possible arsenal in my vast store of aromatics to combat the stench. The other cheese in the lower middle is a soft, smelly, white goat’s cheese although it is not as pungent as the munster.
We heard about it last week on one of those food documentary shows on TV. Manu Feidel, a French chef living and working here in Australia, introduced the viewers to the delights of munster gérômé. I decided to hunt it down at the Adelaide Central Markets and bring some home. Rows and rows and rows of cheeses confronted us. But all we had to do was ask for the smelly French cheese Manu talked about. Hundreds, if not thousands of others had beaten us there. Fortunately they had plenty in stock.
The smell seeped through the bag lady market trolley. It seeped through the paper bag containing the inoffensive looking small wedge of cheese. At home I sentenced it, and its friend, to solitary confinement in a tightly lidded plastic container hoping the smell would not seep through that and contaminate the fridge. It didn’t. However, TRH insisted he wanted to have a teeny weeny little slice of it to taste after the exquisite brie bread dinner. Admittedly, I was curious too. I stopped short of putting a clothes peg on my nose, although in hindsight that may not have been such a bad idea. A waft of malodorous stench invaded my nose as soon as I took the lid off. I briefly wondered if it would get any worse once the cling film was opened. It did. Holding my breath, I quickly cut a tiny piece, rewrapped it and threw it back into solitary confinement with its friend. I had a pre-cut chunk of garlic bread ready. Still holding my breath, I threw the cheese unceremoniously on to it. I believe I may qualify for an Olympic record in stinky cheese breath holding were such an event ever held. Rushing over to TRH I braved a teeny bite of the teeny sample. OMG! It tasted divine. Tomorrow night’s dinner is decided. Stinky cheese and trimmings.
Having experienced it, I just had to find out more about it. So I delved into Wikipedia :
“This cheese (and the goat cheese: author addit ) is protected by an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). This certification places under control the main steps of the cheese process. The producers are required to observe rigorously:
- a limited area of milk production…….
- Precise characteristics of the transformation in cheese…. It is made from unpasteurizedcow’s milk called “crude” or raw milk…. .
- Cheese The cheese’s crust must be washed regularly. It is matured in damp cellars for five weeks….. the rind is periodically washed with brine. The added moisture helps the development of bacteria that gives this cheese its particular taste and color.
- Quality control is maintained in storage, packaging and labelling…. . a semi-soft body; a very strong and penetrating odor; and a very strong taste.” Munster_cheese
Cheese, where you takes liquid from a cow lady’s business parts,
mix it with a bit o’ juices from a baby cow’s fourth stomach
and then let it grow all fuzzy-moldy for a few years, eh?”
Dinner tonight was an exclusive experience. I set the table with care. After all, we had special guests all the way from France. We waited for Marc and Shalini to come home from work before bringing the cheeses to the table. The other two are working. I brought ‘the container’ to the table. Opened it. The reaction was instantaneous.
“Oooo ! That’s gross!!’
‘It smells like poo.’
‘ Are you seriously going to eat that ?!’
‘Why?’ with an accompanying, perplexed look of horror.
Shalini reached for it to have a closer smell. Brave lass. She wanted to identify the smell more closely. ‘Dead frogs. It smells like dead frogs.’ I thought that was appropriate given it was a French cheese. She refused to taste even the minutest crumb. Marc hesitantly had a tiny bit. And gagged. They beat a polite but hasty retreat to go and get take away for dinner. But not before Marc asked if he could leave a little bit in his brother’s bedroom. We figured he didn’t need any extra aromatics in there. And they told us they could smell it all the way to the back of the house.
We enjoyed the savoury delights of the stinky cheeses with a selection of cold meats, sour dough bread, dried cranberries, mangos and dates. It was a delightful dance of flavours across the palate washed down with a bottle of French champagne. Tess of course loved it. Probably reminded her of the stinky half rotten bones she has buried all over the garden.
There is no doubt the munster is an acquired taste. I doubt we would go out of our way to get more. The Chabichou du Poitou however, is a soft, smooth, creamy delight. Both go well with the dried fruit and champagne. Yes, that is one I would be more than happy to have again.
I leave you with this slide show of TRH enjoying the stinky cheese . Were it within my powers I would make it smell-a-video –
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?” ― Bertolt Brecht
© Raili Tanska
Thanks to AlluringEby who nominated me for a 3 day quote challenge.
This is Day 3.
Simple rules for this challenge are to post 1 – 3 quotes a day for three days.
And pass the challenge on to three others :