Back in the day (late 1800s) when refrigeration was inadequate (think: there was no Fedex Overnight), an apprentice cheesemaker at Monroe Cheese Company in Monroe, NY, Emil Frey, was challenged by his employer to duplicate Bismarck Schlosskase, a popular stinky German cheese that didn’t transport well across the Atlantic to New York. It took two years of experimenting but eventually, Frey stumbled upon a spreadable Limburger-style cheese.
Frey’s employer, Adolphe Tode, also owned the popular Manhattan Delicatessen. He took samples of the new cheese to the famous NYC singing society, The Liederkranz Club, whose members were patrons of the deli. When the members of the society pronounced it wonderful, Tode named the cheese “Liederkranz” in their honor. Liederkranz means “wreath of song” when translated from German.
After several changes of ownership, production of Liederkranz was moved to Van Wert, Ohio, which aided the cheese’s distribution and put it closer to its biggest purchasers: the Midwest German population. Overtime, its popularity waned and production ceased in 1985.
In March 2010, DCI Cheese Company located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, decided to resurrect Liederkranz and re-introduce this pungent and full-bodied cheese to the US market.
The Lady brought half of the small foiled brick of this cheese home after sharing the cheese with Amy, her BCFF. We have now tasted this smelly cheese on two occasions.
The first was earlier this week when The Man decided to grill burgers and top them with Liederkranz. I must admit, the aroma of warm Liederkranz is not an aroma soon forgotten. Around the manse, we rarely have stinky cheese and the smell sure takes over when the cheese hits a hot, sizzling burger. While the taste is robust and yet oh-so mellow, you must get past the smell to enjoy it. Once you do, the experience is divine.
Today The Lady served it simply on a plate with Croccantini Original by LaPanzanella.
This cheese has a moist edible rind that is a golden yellow color. The interior is a creamy ivory with a honey-like consistency. With age, Liederkranz will become stronger both in aroma and taste.
I give Liederkranz 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got) and I give DCI Cheese Company 4 Paws for responding to the Liederkranz fan base and bringing this niche cheese back to the market.
Serving Suggestions: Snacking with crackers is a winning combination. As mentioned above, it melts well on burgers and brings a new dimension to an All-American favorite.
Wine pairing: This is a tough one as this cheese needs a wine that stands up to the robust taste of the cheese. Maybe a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.
Beer Pairing: Porter or Bock would go great with this cheese.
Source: Cow Milk.
FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.