Monday, May 27, 2013

My Funky Friend - Munster-Gerome

Hello folks!

Just got back home from a whirlwind week of traveling. Chicago and Indiana Monday through Thursday and then Los Angeles from Friday until today. It's been a busy week! I apologize that I haven't posted! I'll be sure to do a couple extra posts in the next few days to make up for it.

While I was in Chicago, I was able to visit the Lincoln Park store which is a HUGE awesome store. Here are a couple pictures...




Ok, enough of that :) Let's talk cheese. Yesterday I had the pleasure of hanging out with my good friend Jeremy and his girlfriend Jamie. We picked up some delicious cheeses and wines and made an evening out of it.

From left to right:
Comte, Fourme d'Ambert, Hollandse Double Creme Gouda, Munster Gerome, Garrotxa and Humboldt Fog


Needless to say it was a very fun evening. The cheese that I would like to talk about today is the fourth cheese from the left - the Munster Gerome.


Cheese: Munster Gerome
Producer: Maison Fischer or Haxaire
Region: Alsace, Franche-Comte, France
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

I love this cheese... and as you can tell, it bears no resemblance to the American muenster. This is the real deal. Originally produced in two different regions that were on opposite sides of the Vosges mountains. In Alsace, the cheese was known as "Munster". In Lorraine it was known as "Gerome". The names were combined when Munster-Gerome received AOC status in 1978. One of the requirements of the AOC certification is that the milk that is used to make this cheese must come from the Vosgiennes breed of cow. It also can be raw or pasteurized, can be produced in a few different ways (i.e. cooperative or industrial),  and must be aged for at least 3 weeks.


You can't escape the stink with this cheese. Just from unwrapping the cheese, my hands smelled of barnyard and grass for the rest of the evening. This may not sounds appealing to everyone, but I can't get enough of that washed-rind smell!

When aged appropriately, the pastes becomes an unctuous, gelatinous treat. After you cut it open and let it sit for a few minutes, the paste just starts to ooze out... heavenly! You can eat the Munster-Gerome a couple of ways... if you choose to eat the rind along with the paste (which is totally fine to do!) you'll get a much more pungent, grassy, acidic, even bitter flavor that you would if you were just to eat the paste. When you eat the paste without the rind, you taste the silky, funky, buttery goodness of it. You basically get two completely different flavor profiles by trying the cheese both with and without the rind. Be adventurous! 

This cheese is quite rich, so I don't normally buy it just for myself. It comes in an 8oz round and as easy as it would be for me to eat the whole thing, I try to avoid eating a 1/2 pound of cheese in one sitting. The wine specialist at the Glendale Whole Foods where we bought the cheese (his name is Chris and he's AMAZING) recommended that we pair a dry Riesling from Mosel with this cheese. I'm normally not a Riesling fan, but Chris was spot on. The Riesling was indeed very dry with a bright acidity and a very subtle sweetness that really cut through the richness and stinky nature of this cheese. I was very impressed with this pairing and will be adding it to my repertoire. 

Well everyone, I am beat! I'm going to head to bed now... look forward to a few more posts in the next few days. I won't be traveling again for a while so I should have the time. Until then, eat, drink and be happy!!

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