Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >
Jul 29, 2007 03:43 PM

Is something wrong with my Brick Cheese?

Went ahead and got some beautiful looking brick cheese at Murray's today, which I should have tasted, since I never had it. It's my b-day so I went out on a limb.

I'd always heard it was sweet and fairly mild. when I got it home, it was almost rancid tasting, and I'm someone who likes roquefort, gorgonzola picante, etc.

It was obviously very mature, probably... was it fit for sale? Strange for me to find a cheese too stinky for me... can I cook with it and salvage the expense? It was not expensive, but I'd rather not waste it.

Any takers for nearly 1/2 lb of brick cheese in Queens?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Aged brick is a pretty strong cheese, and it's meant to be that way, as it originated as a lower moisture variant of American Limburger. But a freshly made Brick is very mild, with a clean, refreshing buttermilk quality, satisfying as a bland and buttery cheese can be. I'm not saying that your cheese was in excellent condition, because I haven't the data to determine that. But it sounds to me like you just got it at a different stage in its life than you were expecting, and maybe it was more expensive because of that. "Sweet and fairly mild" sounds like a very young Brick.

    1. Yes, aged brick will get a bit stinky. Murray's website offers a 2 month old brick , described as "partly pungent." Is this what you bought?

      I'd probably call Murray's and ask them.

      And remember always to taste, particularly when you have the luxury of being @ Murray's.

      1. I was actually at Murray's today and, as a lover of Roquefort and other blues, I asked for the "stinkiest cheese Murray's has." Without hesitation, the woman behind the counter suggested Brick. Needless to say, I was blown away. The employee there even said that Murray's had considered making t-shirts that joked about how stinky the Brick was. She also said it was cheap (in comparison to some of their other cheeses) because it was so difficult to sell.

        I googled Brick out of curiosity and was surprised to see how this very, very pungent flavor wasn't really mentioned anywhere. This post was the first thing I found that did!

        In any case, my subway ride back home from Murray's--bearing a brick of Brick in my backpack--was rather embarrassing, as I smelt like some serious homeless man.

        3 Replies
        1. re: consulfirmin

          I had to pawn it off on a colleague, as the smell permeated my fridge and nauseated me.
          No wonder the salesperson gave me a funny look when I asked for a half pound.

          1. re: MaspethMaven

            Too bad. I like the tast of Brick in all of its stages. Because Consulfirmin said that pretty much nothing was written on the web about this pungency, I'll quote a little from The Cheese Book, Vivienne Marquis and Patricia Haskell, 1965:
            Brick i the second cheese, besides Liederkranz, which is a native American. Although it is rather little known along the Atlantic seaboard or the West Coast, brick has been bery popular in the Midwest ever since it was first made in 1877 by a cheesemaker of Swiss descent, John Jossi, of Dodge County, Wisconsin. Jossi's specialty was Limburger, and he observed that when the curds for making Limburger were kept to a lower moisture content, a cheese with a different texture resulted. This was brick. Old brick is strong indeed, though not so strong as Limburger, and the cheese is firmer and more elastic.

            It's name is thought to derive either from its shape or, more likely, from the bricks used to press the whey out of the unripened cheese. Old brick is cream-colored and perforated by numerous small holes. The rind is caramel-colored, strong and bitter- much more bitter than the cheese- and it should be removed before eating. The flavor is not dissimilar to Limburger, but it is even closer to a very well aged Tilset or Danish Port-Salut (Esrom). People who like strong cheeses, but who draw the line at Limburger, will find old brick comfortably within their range.

            Like others in this group, it goes best with sour rye or dark pupernickel, followed by the familiar retinue of onions, beer, ale, and whatever else you like that will stand up to it. Wine, the classic accompaniment to cheese, yields its customary place to beer as the best drink to serve with strong cheeses..."and so on.

        2. I am glad I read this and the other replys. I was going to get some for the first time...I will be sure to try it first!