Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brevibacterium Linens

It's no secret...I love cheese.
And every so often while perusing the cheese aisle and sniffing a variety of molded creations, soft & hard, stinky and sweet, I happen across one that I've always wanted to try.
But instead of walking by and choosing the goat or brie or cheddar made from raw milk, I picked up the package and said to myself, "why not?"

The seeds of curiosity were planted when I was years younger, watching old cartoons. Every so often they would make a reference to this stinky cheese called "Limburger". And so I finally get to explore that can't be that bad, right?

Well, I've smelled some pretty awful food before, and I go ga-ga over durian, but this takes the cake. Opening the package revealed this unforgivable stench of pure B.O. that just made my stomach churn and my nose shrink. Holy crap, it was foul. And I mean stinky. Like panghi stinky. Like Seinfeld B.O. episode that messed up his BMW stinky. smelled like the underarm sweat of a really fat stinky sweaty hairy man in his fifties after walking 50 flights of stairs in a crowded building in New York in the middle of July in 100% humidity and 80 degree heat.

OK, if it smells bad, it can't taste bad, right?


The rind had this texture like it was dragged through sand, and the center was bitter & squishy. I didn't mind the squishy texture, but that taste...blech.

I guess it's an acquired taste.
So digging through the internet more I stumble upon some interesting things. Like the fact that the bacteria used to grow the cheese is the same bacteria found on human skin (thus the smell of putrid B.O.) And that they use Limburger to practice isolating bacteria. And that there are recipes out there for a really interesting limburger and onion sandwich on toasted pumpernickle. Hmmm...I wonder if that's any good?

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