Starting tomorrow, New York City might seem a bit more aromatic. That’s because from March 6 to 13, it’s the eighth annual Stinky Cheese Week. Restaurants from the Tour de France restaurant group, including Nice Matin and French Roast Brasserie, will celebrate all things pungent with specials infused with nose-stinging cheeses like Muenster mac and cheese and Époisses cheese soup. And, of course, stinky cheese plates. Here, Nice Matin chef Andy d’Amico shares five must-know stinky cheeses (all washed rind cow’s milk—the stinkiest cheeses in general) from least to most aggressively smelly. Don’t be afraid. “The bark is much worse than the bite in the case of most of these cheeses,” d’Amico says.
A good, semi-soft starter cheese for stinky newbies, Taleggio comes from Lombardy in Italy. It’s creamy with sweet hay and grass notes, a touch of nuttiness and just the slightest hint of funk. “It’s a good cheese to cook with,” d’Amico says. He uses it in his “stinky alfredo” and also likes to melt it on pizza.
Cato Corner Hooligan
Bright, zesty and super-complex, this sharp, semi-soft raw Connecticut cheese is aged for two months and finished with a buttermilk wash.