Limburger is creamy soft cheese with a distinctive odor and has originated from Duchy of Limburg which includes the present day Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium. It holds a smooth, semi-soft, and creamy texture. The cheese is made mostly from pasteurized cow’s milk. The Limburger is aged for a span of 2-3 months time. There are many variations to the Limburger cheese. In the present day, Herve cheese, a variation to the Limburger is produced in the Land of Herve. It is located between Vesdre and Meuse rivers and its border separates Belgium from Netherlands and Germany. In the United States of America, The Williams Cheese Company in Michigan and Chalet Cheese Cooperative in Wisconsin are the only two American companies that produce Limburger. The maximum production and export of the Limburger is done by Germany in the present world.
The most striking factor of the Limburger cheese is its smell because it belong wash rind cheese category. Limburger gets its distinctive odor because it is fermented with the bacterium Brevibacterium linens, which is known create body odor even in humans. During the aging process the cheese undergoes various textural changes. In the first month of the aging process the cheese is typically firm and similar to Feta cheese. Later after six weeks, the edges of the cheese become softer though the inside remains firm and salty. By two months of aging, the cheese becomes much more creamy and smoother. By the third month of the aging process, the Limburger cheese attains its striking smell.
History of Limburger
Limburger has been mostly called the "stinky German cheese", but the cheese was originally made by the Trappist monks of Belgium. The cheese is believed to have got its name from Limbourg City in Belgium, where it was sold for the first time. The Limburger became much popular all over Germany and the Germans started Limburger cheese production. By the end of 20th century, Limburger production has been mostly taken over by Germany and United States of America.
Culinary Production of the Limburger
To prepare the Limburger, the cow's milk is placed on heat along with the rennet and other cultures. It is then kept aside When the curd is formed, it is then cut into slices and packed into typical rectangular moulds, which is then pressed. Initially the cheese is allowed to age for a fortnight in a hot and humid temperature. After two weeks, the temperature is decreased and the process of aging s is set for 2-3 months. During the aging process, the Limburger cheese is washed in brine solution along with Brevibacterium linens. This brining process gives the cheese its yellowish-orange rind and distinctive scent.
Cuisines uses of the Limburger
Since a famous German product, the Limburger is used as an important ingredient in the German cuisine. It’s often categorized as a Table cheese and served along with various flavored food items. One of the most important recipes is the Limburger Sandwich, which is made using mustard sauce, Limburger cheese, and adding raw slice of Onion to the bread. The cheese is also cut into slices and served dark German breads like Rye bread and Pumpernickel. The Limburger is otherwise served with fruits and vegetables, tinned fish like sardines and anchovies, boiled ham, pickles, and crackers. Limburger is often served with beverages like German Bock, Munich Lager, or Riesling.
Nutritive Value of Limburger
- A typical 100 grams of Limburger cheese consists of nearly 327 calories and has about 42% fat.
- The cheese contains high amounts of Calcium, Vitamin A, and Protein.
- It also holds 33% sodium and 30% cholesterol per serving.
Limburger buying and storing Tips
- The Limburger cheese is not a regular product in the global market. It is mostly made in Germany, with a distinctive golden wrap.
- One of the important things to remember while buying Limburger is to check if the outer is wrinkled or crushed. If so, it states the cheese has been stored over a longer time.
- The outer layer of the cheese should not be dried out or too greasy.
- While storing the Limburger special care needs to be taken, as the odor of the cheese can be spread to other food items.
- While storing, the odor of the cheese can be controlled by rinsing the ring often or by cutting off the rind completely.
- The cheese needs to be re wrapped and stored in a air – tight container within the refrigerator, so that texture and flavor is unharmed.
- Limburger is not considered as a cooking cheese, since the heat can worsen the distinctive odor present in the cheese.