Sunday, January 15, 2012
What is the Stinkiest Cheese?
Time to dip into the old mailbag with this question:
Sku, I love a stinky, stinky cheese. What's the stinkiest cheese you know?
Ah, a question that pulls at my heart strings. Well, there are different kinds of cheese stink and the stink depends not just on the type of cheese but on its age. I love the stench of a blue mold or the barnyard floor smell of aged goat. The downright stinkiest cheeses, though, have to be the soft, washed rind cheeses. I've had some very mild Taleggios, but I've also had some that were super-powerful and Stinking Bishop from England is appropriately named (although it's actually named after a variety of pear). And while Epoisses and Pont l’Eveque are legendarily stinky, their stinky exteriors fade on the palate to reveal a rather subtle and delicious cheese.
If I had to pick out the absolute stinkiest cheese I've had in recent memory, it would have to be Vacherin Mont d'Or, the French cow's milk cheese. I recently purchased one of these from the Cheese Store of Silverlake (shown at the top left in the above photo), and while Vacherin Mont d'Or is always stinky, this one was corpse-waking material...or maybe just corpse. I have a pretty huge tolerance for stench, but I even had trouble getting it down, and my fridge still doesn't smell the same.
So if you really, really want to push the envelope on stench, see if you can find one of these ripe Vacherin Mont d'Ors, but you may want to keep it in a lead box or something.