Muenster Cheese – Recipes and More

muenster cheese

What does Muenster cheese taste like? What is Muenster cheese good with? In Wisconsin, they know how to make Muenster cheese a smooth operator. It’s the perfect addition to grilled cheese or a cheeseburger. 

It’s a dilemma many families face. The grownups want a cheese with character, flavor, and all-natural quality…while the kids’ idea of excellence comes in plastic-wrapped slices of questionable origin. We have a solution: Next time family grilled cheese night rolls around, reach for a cheese that everyone will love for all the right reasons. It’s mild, mellow, melts like a champ, and is actually cheese. The kids will even love its name: Muenster.

muenster-cheese

Muenster Cheese History: Where Did It Come From?

For starters, Muenster is almost nothing like Munster (or Munster-géromé) cheese from France. It also has nothing to do with the Irish province of Munster or the German city of Münster, although Muenster would seem to be an Anglicized version of the German name. Here, then is a little Muenster cheese history:

The French Munster cheese comes from Alsace, that very German region of France that has changed hands between the two countries for centuries. (The German city of Münster is just across the Rhine in Westphalia, so maybe there’s more of a connection than is believed.) It is a washed-rind cheese on the order of Limburger, first made by Benedictine monks as a way to preserve milk.

What Does Muenster Cheese Taste Like?

While Munster doesn’t have the overpowering smell of Limburger, it is a strong-tasting semi-soft cheese with a red-orange rind caused by the bacteria that give it its distinctive flavor.

How Is Muenster Cheese Made?

French immigrants in the 1800s first figured out how to make Muenster cheese in Wisconsin. It’s likely that they were trying to imitate the French Munster, as the American version has the same semi-soft texture; however, its distinctive red-orange rind (if present) gets its color from annatto, the same natural vegetable dye that gives many Cheddars the familiar orange hue. And the Wisconsin version tastes nothing like the Alsatian original; because it does not go through the rind-washing and aging process, its flavor is very mellow with a pleasing tang, somewhat like a Monterey Jack. Because it truly has its own identity, Muenster may be considered one of the truly great original American cheeses.

Muenster Cheese Pronunciation

Muenster is pronounced either like “munster” (with a short u like bun) or “moonster” (with a short oo like book). Young children may think it’s cool to call it “monster”…and with its orange rind it’s a nice addition to a Halloween platter.

Muenster Cheese Uses

The smooth, mellow taste of Muenster is extremely versatile and adaptable to many dishes, so naturally, there’s no shortage of recipes using Muenster cheese. Slice it for hot or cold sandwiches—it goes with any cold cuts—or cut it in cubes for a cheese tray.

Because it melts so wonderfully, with the perfect elasticity, Muenster is one of the finest additions to grilled cheese recipes. And those same characteristics—along with its food-friendly flavor that complements a wide variety of toppings—make it one of the best cheeses for cheeseburgers.

What Is Muenster Cheese Good With?

Wine:

Muenster pairs well with a variety of reds (pinot noir, Beaujolais, merlot, zinfandel) and dry to sweet whites (chardonnay, pinot gris/pinot grigio, riesling, grüner veltliner).

Beer:

Belgian ales, brown and pale ales, lagers (including pilsners), and dark porters and stouts all go well with Muenster.

Meats:

Beef, poultry

Fruits:

Apples, dried fruits, grapes, pears

 

Shop WisconsinCheeseman.com for an award-winning Wisconsin Muenster cheese.

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3 Responses to Muenster Cheese – Recipes and More

  1. sara March 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

    I put this cheese on our pizza last night omg what a difference so GOOD give it a try

  2. Susan sammons March 27, 2018 at 12:41 am #

    I use to make Muenster cheese appetizers but have forgot. I fill small circled cream cheese crusts fill with Muenster cheese red onion and I think with an egg white. Fold and pinch brush with egg white and sesame seeds bake. Don’t know if the filling mixture is right and what temp and length to cook. Ever heard of these I made them at Halloween for the kids and called them monster duirves. Any body heard of these and what was the filling and temps to cook

  3. Collette April 3, 2018 at 12:21 am #

    I used it on the top layer of my lasagna instead of mortzarella. Oh my gosh. It was light and creamy. Love this cheese.

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