Friday, May 9, 2008

Mustering Munster

On my trip to the Rue du Vin in Alsace, France I took a side trip to Munster. The town was awesome — a foodies dream with tons of little stores selling local specialties. And, of course I bought some of its namesake cheese.

In the shop they vacuumed sealed the Munster cheese. That was a very good thing. I don’t think we would have been able to travel home with it in the car otherwise. When I opened the package the smell nearly knocked me over. This was nothing, NOTHING, like the stuff they sell in delis in the states.

Now, I like a strong cheese, but this one was overwhelming. I had made a salad for dinner and planned to have some cheese with a fresh baguette. Kevin, face winced, pretended to enjoy it, but I couldn't even fake it. I had to remove the cheese from the table before continuing with my meal.

My strong aversion surprised me. While in Alsace I had a Munster cheese tart flambé, which is basically a thin-crusted French pizza with cheese, onion, and bacon. The cheese was strong, but the dish was delicious.

The next night I decided to cook with it instead. I made potatoes au gratin with the stinky Munster, plus some Gouda and Parmesan. This was much better. While cooking with potatoes, the Munster lost its sharpness without losing its pronounced flavor.

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