French Munster is the defining cheese of the Alsace region of Northeastern France and has zero in common with the neon orange edged block in an American deli case. This Munster has a long tradition of careful production, beginning with Benedictine monks in the 12 th century who developed this savory cheese as a meat substitute for their vegetarian diet.
During cheesemaking, flavors are encouraged through the 'washed rind method: each wheel is rubbed and rinsed with a salty solution to promote bacterial growth on the exterior. The result is a blush-colored, tacky, and pungent rind. But don’t let the smell discourage you.
The inside cheese is remarkably balanced. When ripe this cheese is soft and rich, with a deep umami flavor like beef, roasted peanuts, onions, butter and straw. It is funky, and wonderfully so.
Like a salty bar snack, this cheese is great with a beer. It also loves Alsatian wines like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and bold reds. In France, this cheese is often served with potatoes, and cumin or caraway seeds on the side.
Ingredients:pasteurized cow's milk, salt, rennet, lactic starters (milk).