Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chris eats Limburger cheese.

Hi everybody! As we established with the BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger, I will occasionally be sampling some weird and exotic foodstuffs for your sadistic pleasure. Some foods, like the Steakhouse burger, will be a pleasant surprise. Some foods, like today’s entry, will not be. Allow me to introduce you to…

Limburger Cheese!
Don't be fooled!
If you’re not familiar with Limburger, it’s a Belgian cheese, famous for its astoundingly pungent odor. While shopping at Whole Foods over the weekend I came across some Limburger and I just couldn’t help myself. It seemed like a perfect fit for this blog. Limburger has a reputation as a disgusting food and I was in the market for disgusting food! But it can’t be that bad. Right?

Before we take our first sniff, let’s learn a little bit about this diabolical dairy product. The cheese originated in Limburg (go figure) which is now divided between Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. There are only two locations in America that still produce this smelly delicacy. Most likely, Americans just aren’t wild about cheese that smells like butt. The most popular way to consume Limburger is to spread it over Rye bread and garnish heavily with onions. Are you gagging right now? I know I am! Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about this stuff:

“In its first month, the cheese is more firm and crumbly, similar to the texture of feta cheese. After about six weeks, the cheese becomes softer along the edges but is still firm on the inside and can be described as salty and chalky. After two months of its life, it is mostly creamy and much smoother. Once it reaches three months, the cheese produces its notorious smell because the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese and many other smear-ripened cheeses is Brevibacterium linens, the same one found on human skin that is partially responsible for body odor.”

That started out promising, didn’t it? I like feta cheese! Then things took a left turn around “notorious smell” and I was filled with existential dread by the time we got to “body odor.” One of the primary ingredients in this cheese causes HUMAN BODY ODOR. I didn’t notice the date stamped on my cheese (you’ll understand why shortly) but I would wager that it was aged for 80 years in a Detroit toilet. “You’re exaggerating, Chris! It can’t be that bad.”

The Experience:

What would YOU do for a Klondike Bar?
Holy shit, it’s so bad. Let’s start with the appearance. My particular block of Country Castle Limburger came wrapped in metal foil. It looked like a think Klondike Bar. I love Klondike Bars! Alas, when I peeled back the foil it became abundantly clear that I was not about to eat a Klondike Bar. Merciful God, it smelled bad. I actually ran away. I ran to the other side of the kitchen. I ran like the cheese intended to physically harm me. When I sheepishly returned, I noticed that the cheese didn't even look edible. There were disturbing orange and red discolorations all over the rind. After a little research I learned that the orange gunk was a result of the curing process or something. That’s no excuse! LOOK AT THIS!!!

I have made a terrible mistake.
How can I describe the smell that immediately permeated my entire house after opening the foil? I don’t think there are words in the English language that could do it justice. Do you know that feeling of intense sorrow after the death of a beloved family pet? It’s like that…but a smell. The aroma is a mixture of rotting meat, foot odor, armpit, and poop. I’m not trying to gross you out. It actually smells like that. It’s absolutely revolting. And it is incredibly strong. I brought it to my girlfriend in the living room for a second opinion. She was on the phone but gave the cheese a cursory sniff. Long story short, the couples therapy is going really well and I can cover up most of my bruises with makeup!

Like this...but a smell.

I couldn’t turn back. I had made an unspoken promise to my readers to eat some of that terrible cheese. I couldn’t disappoint my fanbase! Finally, I knew what Justin Bieber must feel every single day. Solidarity, Biebs. We shall overcome! I picked up a knife and cut two slices from the quivering block. I placed one fat slice atop a cracker, imagined Jesus carrying me on a beach, and put the whole thing in my mouth. I chewed and waited to see what would happen.

Well, nothing happened. Not right away, at least. For the first ten seconds I was immensely relieved. It just tasted like cheese on a cracker! But that is the cruel trick of Limburger, friends. As soon as I was lulled into a false sense of security the Limburger hit me like Mike Tyson would hit a prize fighter (or, you know…a woman). It tasted like a burnt diaper. Reader, it was the worst thing I’ve ever eaten and I’ve been to a Long John Silver’s. I resisted the urge to spit it out and swallowed immediately (that’s what she sai...nevermind). Before the offending dairy was halfway down my gullet, I was sealing the remaining cheese in a zip-lock bag and throwing it into the trash outside. I have a strong suspicion that the local trash collectors may swear a vendetta against me.

Final Verdict:

I strongly recommend that you go purchase some Limburger cheese for yourself. I can’t do it justice. It is genuinely the worst food in the world. Bring it to a party, put down a tarp, and see how many of your friends have a weak gag reflex! Hide it under the desk of a co-worker! The possibilities are endless! Alright, Internuts…I’m going to cleanse my palette for a few days. I’ll see you back here on Friday!  Hazzah!


  1. Man, You are funny I was laughing out loud as I read your review. Burnt diaper! That still makes me laugh. Very descriptive. I can't wait to try some. Whew.

  2. I don't think you ate any. If you did you would be pleasantly surprised at how delicious it really is. Parmigiano Reggiano also smells bad but is also delicious and considered one of the worlds premier cheeses.

    There is another soft ripened cheese having a fan base similar to Limburger that is named Leiderkranz. It was not being produced for several decades but it is back in production in Wisconsin. Perhaps you need to try that one and let us know your opinion after you really do eat some.

  3. Rod, I can guarantee you that I ate that Limburger and that it was super gross. I might not have a palette refined enough to appreciate cheese that tastes like hobo feet. In the interest of fairness, I'll try to track down some Leiderkranz to give it another shot.

  4. I am appalled by your reaction to this cheese which, in my opinion, is better than manna from heaven. Perhaps you didn't put a thick enough slice of onion on the bread with the cheese. You should also let the cheese warm up to room temperature before eating. That will help release the delicate aroma of feet that is inherent in this delightful dairy product. Now, go back and try it again!