Muenster

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  • TextureSemi-Soft
  • FlavorMild
  • PairingsRed WineWhite WineBeer

Muenster cheese: nothing scary about it!

This American original was first made in Wisconsin by French immigrants, but is not at all like the French cheese called Munster. The American version has a distinctive red rind, a mild flavor and a smooth, elastic texture that softens with age.

Where is Muenster cheese from?

Contrary to popular belief, Muenster cheese is not from France. That would be Munster (or Munster-géromé) cheese. It also has nothing to do with the Irish province of Munster or the German city of Münster. French immigrants to Wisconsin may have been trying to imitate Munster, but they used a much different technique and came up with a true American original.

How is Muenster cheese made?

French Munster is a washed-rind cheese on the order of Limburger. While it doesn't have the strong smell of Limburger, it has a red-orange rind caused by the bacteria in the wash. American Muenster's red-orange rind gets its color from annatto, the same natural vegetable dye used in many Cheddars. And the Wisconsin version tastes nothing like the French 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.

Uses

Slice for sandwiches; cube for cheese trays. Adds fresh taste to scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches and more.

Pairings

Wine:Beaujolais, chardonnay, grüner veltliner, malbec, merlot, pinot gris, pinot noir, riesling, sauvignon blanc, zinfandel
Beer:Amber ale, American lager, Belgian ale, brown ale, pale ale, Pilsner, porter, saison ale, Scotch ale, stout, wheat beer

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