The aroma given off by a wheel of cheese is often the best indicator of quality. Looking for the best tasting cheese? Head right for the cheese with an odour so pungent that it will make your head spin. Here are 6 cheeses that are so delicious that they raise a stink.
There are a many varieties of cheese that stink. But, to have the word ‘stinking’ included in the name leaves no doubts about the cheese’s odour pedigree. The odour from the cheese is thanks to the Stinking Bishop pear, found locally in Gloucester. Perry made from the Stinking Bishop pear is used to rinse the cheese during the ripening process. With one rinse every four weeks until it’s ripened, the cheese is bound to have a pungent odour. Stinking Bishop cheese is not produced in large quantities and demand for it is always high.
The Limburger stands out in this list as the only cheese that is not made in France. The Duchy of Limburg, in Germany, can be thanked for giving the world a cheese that is delicious despite smelling like feet. ‘Body odour’ is the most common term used by turophiles when describing the aroma of Limburger. As far as stink is concerned, it can’t get much worse than comparing cheese to smelly feet. For those who like the odour but want a bit of variation in taste, Herve proves to be a fine substitute for Limburger.
Brie de Meaux
Brie de Meaux is a classic example of how far a person is willing to go in order to get a taste of delicious cheese. The longer cheese is allowed to mature, the better it will taste. In case of Brie de Meaux, not only does it improve the flavour, it also smells a lot worse. You can have Brie de Meaux that doesn’t smell too bad, but don’t expect to be blown away by the flavour; for the best tasting cheese, you will have to sacrifice the happiness of your nose.
This French cheese has an aroma so bad that it has earned itself the nickname ‘monster cheese’. Made in the Vosges, the Appelation d-Origine Controlee (AOC) has very strict norms about what exactly goes into making the perfect Munster. If all the norms are followed, the result is a cheese that is amazingly delicious and smells like sweaty feet that have been pulled out from a pair of sneakers right after a game of basketball or tennis. You can opt for the American Munster which is non-offensive to your sense of smell, but in terms of taste, it cannot compare to the awesomeness of the French original.
As far as blue cheese is concerned, Gorgonzola and Stilton can’t hold a candle to the wonderful taste of Roquefort. Just like Munster, the AOC also has very strict regulations regarding he production of Roquefort, including the type of fungi used (Penicillium roqueforti) and the caves from which it can be sourced. The distinct flavour of the Roquefort has helped the blue cheese find its way into many French recipes. The bad aroma it gives off is a very small price to pay for a cheese that tastes so good.
Epoisses de Bourgogne
A personal favourite of Napoleon, production of Epoisses de Bourgogne almost became a casualty of World War 2. However, production was revived in the mid-1950s and it remains, till today, one of the most sought after artisanal cheeses. While most cheeses go very well with wine, Epoisses goes equally well with dark beer and sweet wines that wouldn’t normally be paired with cheese. The cheese’s odour is so pungent it is illegal to carry it in the French public transport system.