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Muenster Cheese

WhatsEatingYou Aug 20, 2012 09:40 AM

Muenster cheese has always been a favorite of mine but I cannot seem to find one that tastes fresh lately. The past couple years everytime I have bought Muenster cheese it has that icky moldy flavor to it and I have to cut off all exposed surface area to get a good tasting slice. There is no visible mold on the cheese. After re-packaging it (whether it be in foil, tupperware, ziplock bag) and placing it in my cheese drawer in the fridge the next day when I go for some it again has the moldy taste.
I have tried buying it from various stores and keep having the same issue.
Has anyone else noticed this? How can I get the old Muenster I used to love back?!

  1. j
    John Francis Sep 19, 2012 04:10 PM

    My problem with muenster cheese isn't that it tastes bad, but that it can have hardly any taste at all. (As with Trader Joe's.) Recently I've been buying Applegate Naturals sliced muenster; it's not cheap, but it actually tastes like cheese and I like that.

    1. c
      CheeseGuru Sep 19, 2012 02:19 PM

      Try Zimmerman Cheese in Wiota Wisconsin. I am from Northern Illinois, but on Saturday mornings we make a road trip to their plant which has a store. They have fresh Muenster curds and the traditional Muenster and Brick loaves made daily in addition to many other cheeses.

      1. WhatsEatingYou Aug 21, 2012 06:01 AM

        Yes I am referring to the American version, the moderate white cheese with an orange rind. I was not previously familiar with Munster from France but now would like to try it!
        Also I do not mind aged cheeses or cheeses that are meant to be moldy. What I am referring to is that icky off taste that you sometimes get on the outside layer of hunks of cheese when there is no visible mold, I have even tasted it on cheddar. The problem is that my Muenster always tastes like this when I first open it from the store and a thick layer needs to be removed in order to taste good every time I use it.

        1. Bacardi1 Aug 20, 2012 01:15 PM

          Which Muenster Cheese are you looking for?

          Processed sliced Muenster cheese popular for sandwiches won't ever have an aged cheese flavor. Look in your supermarket deli department's pre-sliced cheese section.
          That's where you're more likely to find "fresh" Muenster cheese.

          But if you're buying aged Muenster Cheese, you will most likely get a more aged flavor, which for someone not used to it can taste "moldy". And it's not usually sold in "slices". This doesn't mean the cheese is "bad"; it's just not the same product as the "sliced Muenster" you're used to.

          It's funny, but people who are used to American-style processed Muenster cheese, throw a fit when unexpectedly introduced to the real aged thing - lol!

          12 Replies
          1. re: Bacardi1
            chefj Aug 20, 2012 01:31 PM

            I doubt that we are talking about real Munster cheese since it would be near impossible to slice and is a very strong (and delicious) cheese

            1. re: chefj
              mpjmph Aug 20, 2012 04:48 PM

              Munster and Muenster are two different kinds of cheese. Muenster cheese is the soft, white cheese with an orange rind that is commonly found in US dairy and deli cases. Munster is a completely different cheese variety that is not widely available in US grocery stores. So yes, this thread is about real Muenster, but not about Munster.

              1. re: mpjmph
                pikawicca Aug 20, 2012 05:17 PM

                Not so. The Alsatian spelling ("u" with an umlaut) is rendered as "muenster" in English. Same spelling,different cheeses.

                1. re: pikawicca
                  cheesemaestro Aug 20, 2012 06:49 PM

                  I'm afraid I have to agree with mpjmph. It's thought that the name of the French cheese came originally from the Abbaye de Munster in Alsace. Neither the abbey, nor the cheese spell the word with an umlaut, since French "u" is pronounced the same as German "ü" and doesn't need the umlaut. If one goes back far enough in history, it may have been different, but there's no umlaut now, and therefore "Muenster" is an incorrect spelling for the French cheese. The official name for the cheese, which has a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is Munster-Géromé, though most people refer to it simply as Munster. Munster comes from Alsace. A nearly identical cheese, Géromé, was being made in the neighboring region of Lorraine. When the PDO was granted, the two cheeses were merged into a single designation.

                  It's clear that the OP is talking about the American deli cheese properly spelled "Muenster" and not the French cheese. There's also Münster (with the umlaut) that is made in Germany. It's a mild cheese with an orange rind. The American version imitates it more than it does the French cheese.

                  1. re: cheesemaestro
                    pikawicca Aug 20, 2012 07:39 PM

                    If you're looking to buy/order this cheese in Alsace, you need to say "muenster," not "munster," or you will not be understood.

                    1. re: pikawicca
                      cheesemaestro Aug 21, 2012 06:31 AM

                      Correct pronunciation of the cheese's name certainly helps in Alsace, as it would anywhere in France. Beyond that, I'm not sure what point you're making.

                      1. re: pikawicca
                        DeppityDawg Aug 21, 2012 06:57 AM

                        Chances are you will not be understood if you say "muenster". Most people in Alsace speak French, and the French pronunciation of this cheese does _not_ contain the German/Alsatian ‹ü›/‹ue› sound. It has the nasal "un" sound that you hear in "Verdun" or "lundi". An English speaker is better off not attempting any fancy foreign pronunciation and just asking for "(Herman) Munster", in Alsace and elsewhere in France.

                        1. re: DeppityDawg
                          cheesemaestro Aug 21, 2012 07:40 AM

                          You're right about the French pronunciation, although I would expect to hear a Germanic pronunciation of the u from some older people who still speak the Alsatian dialect of German with friends and family.

                          1. re: cheesemaestro
                            DeppityDawg Aug 21, 2012 08:09 AM

                            In Alsatian, the cheese is called "Menschterkas". The spelling may vary, but there is no "u" sound of any kind.

                            1. re: DeppityDawg
                              cheesemaestro Aug 21, 2012 11:09 AM

                              You learn something new every day!

                2. re: chefj
                  Bacardi1 Aug 20, 2012 05:49 PM

                  Uh, chefj - that was my point.

                  1. re: Bacardi1
                    chefj Aug 21, 2012 10:24 AM

                    and I was just saying that the OP post is pointing to the Domestic. So there was no challenge to "your point"

              2. mrbigshotno.1 Aug 20, 2012 11:21 AM

                Muenster cheese is the best stuffing for Chiles Rellenos!

                4 Replies
                1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                  Tripeler Aug 20, 2012 04:31 PM

                  +1 on that. An alternative is from a small California cheesemaker, Rouge et Noir, and is called Schloss. Rather salty, but funkier than James Brown when ripe.

                  1. re: Tripeler
                    alkapal Aug 20, 2012 04:42 PM

                    LOL -- ain't no cheese funkier than james brown!

                    1. re: Tripeler
                      chefj Aug 20, 2012 04:45 PM

                      I really think these folks are talking about the American munster cheese which is about as funky as the Carpenters

                      1. re: chefj
                        dave_c Aug 20, 2012 04:50 PM

                        So the original French form of the cheese can be called "Monkster" cheese? :D

                  2. l
                    Lilbug Aug 20, 2012 10:46 AM

                    Softer cheeses need to breath or else they will get a mold. This used to happen to me all the time with Muenster. What you need to do is get some cheese cloth. Cut a piece large enough to totally wrap the cheese and then wrap the cheese in wax paper. I then put a rubber band around the package and then place in the refrigerator. No plastic wrap or bags. The cheese will gradually loose moisture, but should not mold.

                    BTW, did you know 75% of all Muenster made in this country (USA) is made in a little tiny town named Comstock in N.W. Wisconsin. The rest is made in California.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lilbug
                      pikawicca Aug 20, 2012 05:14 PM

                      I believe that the OP is talking about the American product, not the real-deal French soft cheese.

                    2. boogiebaby Aug 20, 2012 09:42 AM

                      Are you buying prepackaged cheese or having it sliced at the deli counter? I buy prepackaged muenster slices from Trader Joes and haven't noticed any issues.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: boogiebaby
                        WhatsEatingYou Aug 20, 2012 09:56 AM

                        I buy prepackaged chunks (about 8 oz). Maybe I will try the pre-sliced, I usually avoid the slices since they are a little more expensive but I'm not really saving money when I have to whittle away most of my cheese.

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