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We continue our exploration of different cheeses today with a look at Muenster cheese.
What is Muenster cheese?
Muenster cheese is a mild, white cheese with a reddish-orange rind made from paprika. This can be eaten but is often cut off. It is semi-firm in texture with a mild smell that stronger as it ages. Muenster cheese is currently made in Germany, France and the United States.
The History of Muenster cheese
It was originally made by Benedictine monks that migrated to the Alsace region of France. The cheese was created to save milk and feed numerous people. The original name “munster” comes from the word monastery. Authentic French Muenster cheese is made from the milk of cows that graze in the Vosges mountains of eastern France. Today, farmers still use the traditional methods of cheese-making.
How does it taste?
Muenster cheese can be very mild and creamy, but as it ages it becomes more sharp and tangy. It is sometimes described as a cross between a mild cheddar and a mozzarella flavor.
How should I eat it?
This cheese melts well, so it’s great for putting in burgers or a grilled cheese. Pop a slice over a burger whilst it’s still on the grill for the full, melted effect. Use your favorite bread to make your ideal grilled sandwich.
Because it can be mild, this is a great cheese for adding texture and flavor without overpowering the other ingredients in a dish. You could use it in macaroni cheese or on a pizza.
It is delicious in a baked potato. Simply cut the top open and grate some cheese in. Let it melt a little before eating. You could also add a little when making scalloped potatoes. The combination of cream, mild cheese, and well-cooked potato makes for a great side dish.
Its slightly salty nature makes Muenster a good cheese to pop in a sandwich, as it adds both texture and seasoning. Try it with ham or in a turkey sandwich with salad.
If you enjoy eating fondue, you could add a little Muenster cheese for additional flavor. Alternatively, serve cubes of it on the side as an extra cheesy bite. This is also a great way to serve it as part of a cheeseboard.
If you’re serving a continental breakfast, this cheese is a great option as it won’t be an overpowering flavor first thing in the morning. It works well with ham, pastries, or even fruit such as apples and grapes.
What should I drink it with?
You’ll find Muenster cheese is often served with beer as the flavors complement each other well. A Pilsner could be a great pairing. If you prefer wine, there are a variety of red and white wines that pair well. For red wine lovers, try a light Pinot Noir or Zinfandel. If you prefer white wine, we recommend a Riesling.
How do you like to eat your Muenster cheese? Do you eat the rind? Let us know in the comments!