Welcome to Stinky Cheese
Ahh . . . the stink of cheese. A cheese's smell or aroma can vary from barely noticeable to pungent to overpowering. It is matched by an enticing array of flavors. Some cheeses, like Limburger smell divinely rich but have a less precocious flavor. So, not all stinky cheese have flavors to match.
Does the increased age of the cheese cause the aroma to become stronger? In some cases, yes.
The mould used to develop the cheese can contribute to the flavor, texture ( both internal and rind) and aroma. Some cheese moulds actually give the cheese a mushroomy flavor and stinky aroma. This is particularly true of the Brie and Camembert family of cheeses. Others, like the famous "Historic Blue" Stilton are allowed to age naturally for a period of time.
By law, raw milk cheese must age a minimum of 60 days. Blue veined Stilton ages at least three months. The veins of blue mold appear after the cheese is pierced with stainless steel needles and the cheese matures for 3 months as the veins grow. This aging often intensifies the smell... adding to the stink.
Washed rind cheese are some of the most interesting smelling and tasting cheeses in the world. The rinds of the cheese are washed repeatedly as they ripen to keep the cheese moist and supple. Brandy, Port and salt water are some of the agents used to wash the rinds - helping to craft the unique flavor of the final product.
Just a generation or two ago, raising chickens complete with egg gathering, fresh milk from cows at a dairy close by or on your very own farm, churning butter and making stinky cheese were everyday chores for many of us.
Today farms that specialize in cheese making are enjoying status as purveyors of artisan food products. Hand crafted european style cheese started from old world cultures can be made from goat or sheep milk in addition to cows milk.
Though, typically less stinky Italian cheeses have been introduced into mainstream diets through chef inspired pizza toppings, unique bagel and bakery items and mass produced salad dressings. While large companies dominate the supermarket shelves with processed cheese food products, entrepreneurs have found a growing following for handcrafted cheese laced food items through upscale retail groceries and specialty shops.
Also look for excellent wine and liquor specials to compliment your cheese and appetizers. Having a well paired wine can really make your cheese eating experience magnificant