Muenster is a cheese that everybody – and every dish – can get along with. A friendlier version of the French Munster cheese, American-made muenster (the added "e" is for "everybody loves me") is a semi-soft cheese that's mild enough for youngsters but nuanced enough for cheese connoisseurs and delicious enough for all to enjoy.
The meltability of muenster is amazing, but it can also be sliced and saddled on a ham sandwich, grated over pizza as a sub for mozzarella, or cubed up for a snack of cheese and crackers. Basically, muenster is up for everything. And here in Wisconsin, we're fine letting muenster go anywhere it wants to, as long as it ends up on our plate.
It's not hard to come up with great recipes and pairings for easy-going muenster cheese. A beer cheese dip for the game? Muenster says yes, please. A cheese sauce for nacho night? Muenster's down with that. It'll make the best grilled cheese sandwich for lunch on a cool fall day, and it's all over any macaroni and cheese recipe you want to throw at it. Or whip it into boiled potatoes for some cheesy muenster mashed.
When it's time to toss back a beer or two, muenster's cool with pretty much anything – stouts, pilsners, pale ales, porters, brown ales, lagers, and Belgian ales. For vino, take your pick: a chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, red zinfandel, riesling, sauvignon blanc, Beaujolais, pinot gris or Grüner Veltliner – muenster will just have what you're having.
Muenster cheese is a semi-soft cow's milk cheese originating in the U.S. and inspired by the washed-rind Munster cheese from France's Alsace region. Muenster has a pale color, smooth texture and a mild buttery flavor that gets stronger and tangier with age. Muenster has excellent melting properties, but it can also be grated or sliced.
Muenster cheese is a mild-flavored American original that was inspired by French Munster cheese, but the two cheeses are not similar today. French Munster is made with unpasteurized milk from the Vosges region of France, and has a stronger aroma and flavor thanks to a washed-rind cheese making process (the same used to make stinky cheeses like limburger) that produce more bacteria on the exterior of the cheese. American-made muenster is much milder and made from pasteurized cow's milk. Muenster does not use a washed-rind process.
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Muenster is a true Wisconsin original, first made by French immigrants in in the late 1800s. So, picking Wisconsin-made muenster cheese is kind of no-brainer.
But if you need a little extra incentive, consider this: Wisconsin is pretty much the Mecca of cheesemaking when it comes to muenster and practically every other cheese. We are home to only one of two Master Cheesemaker programs in the world (the Swiss have the other one), which means every master cheesemaker in America has called Wisconsin home at some point. As a state, we pour almost all our milk into cheese, and we produce twice as many varieties, types, and styles of cheese than any other state. And if that's not enough to turn your head north (to Wisconsin), just take a gander at the 5,552 awards we've one for cheese – more than anyone, any state, any country in the world. That includes 125 awards for our own Wisconsin muenster.
That's what happens when a whole state dreams in cheese. And we and muenster invite you to dream along with us.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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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.