I like to try new things. I’ll usually try a new food once and if I don’t like it, I’ll never have it again. Quail eggs, for example, are effing nasty and I’ll never eat those bastards a second time. Remember my post about experimenting with novelty snacks? Usually it’s a good thing to experiment with new things. I mean, why are we alive if we’re only here to drive down the same streets, read the same books, and eat the same foods over and over? But as you recall from that novelty snacks post, I have a penchant to make mistakes when venturing outside of my culinary comfort zone.
Limburger cheese. How many times did you see them goof on it in the cartoons? It makes the character’s eyes water, sometimes even makes him pass out. But is it really that rank? Last night I took a drive to a distant supermarket and was passing through the cheese section when I saw “Limburger Cheese” imprinted against a black label. I picked up the small block and sniffed it. I became curious about its legendary cartoon power while inhaling faint whiffs through the aluminum foil wrapper. You know the old saying, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”? That’s what I said to myself and I bought it. I mean, I’ve been around some really stinky feta cheeses and bleu cheese and brie and crap like that, so how bad could it be, right?
This morning when I awoke, I thought I’d break open the package and give it a whirl. How can I describe this? The first impression I got was of jockstrap, bellybutton, toes, armpits, and hints of ass. After a second “are-you-sure” sniff, I got a strong whiff of ammonia. “Ammonia? Is that normal?” I looked it up, and sure enough, it is, so I didn’t have to worry about dying if I were to eat it. I also learned that the BO note comes from brevibacterium linens, one of the bacteria that make people notably odoriferous in their junky-bits. A-ha! While I’m not used to eating things that smell like jockstrap, bellybutton, toes, armpits, and hints of ass, I once again thought “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It’s perhaps my least fruitful mantra. The flavor was not ridiculously horrible, with the exception of that retched ammonia taste, which seemed to be concentrated in the rind. I removed the rind and threw the soft remainder into an omelet, and, well, it didn’t improve the omelet one bit, even if the ammonia was gone. That old 1980s advertising slogan, “Anything goes with eggs” was not written with Limburger cheese in mind. Limburger is a too-salty, strong-tasting cheese with a RIDICULOUSLY offensive and powerful odor, suitable only for practical jokes on flatmates and revenge on ex-girlfriends. I will finish this small block and never buy it again. Limburger is beyond pungent and stinky. It’s RANK. My apartment still smells like jockstrap. And although I ventured, I can say definitively that nothing was gained.
UPDATE: June 8, 2009 – I’ve had only one more taste of Limburger since I wrote this post on the 3rd. In that time I’ve threatened 3 people with Limburger. 0 have agreed to try it. Corcillo was game at first, but once he smelled it, he said eff that! I will not be finishing this block of cheese. Maybe I’ll throw it across the street at those horrible neighbors.
[c] 2009 Russ of America
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