If you love limburger, or if you're curious about strong-smelling, washed-rind cheeses, you owe yourself a slice of Liederkranz. An American cousin to German limburger, Liederkranz was born in upstate New York in the late 1800s. It was meant to satisfy the cravings of German immigrants for a cheese called Bismarck Schlosskase, a stinky cheese from their homeland. Liederkranz eventually left New York and found a home in Wisconsin, where we love all things cheese!
Today, Wisconsin is the only place you'll find Liederkranz, or limburger for that matter. It's just one more example of how Wisconsin cheesemakers are doing their part to bring cheeses of every type and every smell to the world.
Liederkranz has a similar aroma and texture to limburger but is distinctly robust and buttery. This pale ivory original can do anything limburger can, so feel free to pair it with other classic Old World fare like dark breads, spicy mustards, and sturdy salads. A little Liederkranz® spread on a cut of sweet country ham and sandwiched between two slices of hearty bread is what we call a sandwich in Wisconsin.
For guests that love stinky cheese, Liederkranz® is happy to take the starring role on a cheese and crackers plate. And nothing says "We're friends no matter what" like giving Liederkranz® as a Wisconsin cheese gift at the holidays.
When you're ready to really dig into the Liederkranz® experience, you'll want a drink that has a similar "You want a piece of me?" attitude. That means brown or Belgian ales, cider, or IPAs. Or cabernets, merlots, and rieslings if you're drinking wine.
Liederkranz is an American-made, surface-ripened specialty cheese with a full-body flavor and a distinctly strong aroma. A cousin to the famous German limburger, Liederkranz® possesses a similar texture but a more robust and buttery flavor.
Liederkranz® is smeared with bacteria called Brevibacterium linens and the rind is washed repeatedly as the cheese ages to encourage its growth. The bacteria helps the cheese to ripen and develop its complex flavor, and it also is the source of the cheese's unique aroma.
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It would be easy to think that Wisconsin has a thing for stinky cheese. After all, we're the only state still producing Liederkranz® and limburger, along with other Wisconsin originals like brick cheese, known as the "married man's limburger." And we love us some blue cheese and gorgonzola – not as stinky as some, but still decidedly aromatic.
But then again, Wisconsinites love cheese of every kind. We're a state dedicated to producing more flavors and varieties of cheese than anywhere else on earth, so it makes sense you'd find all the famous stinkers here. It's just one more example of how, when it comes to cheese, Wisconsin is all in. It's why 90% of our milk is made into cheese, and why we produce twice as many types and styles of cheese as any other state.
So, whether you're fond of a foul-smelling cheese like Liederkranz®, or you just want to know you're buying the best cheese in the world, keep an eye out for the "Proudly Wisconsin Cheese" label. It'll steer you in the right direction every time.
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.