5 Must-Try Stinky Cheeses, From Tame to Ultra-Pungent
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.
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.
Another raw American cheese, the Winnimere hails from Vermont. The spruce-wrapped, ultra-creamy cheese is meaty, mushroomy and super-silky. “It’s really molten,” d’Amico says. “It’s so melty it eats almost like raclette.”
A classic stinky cheese, Époisses is made in Bourgogne, France. It’s earthy with a long-lasting finish. The cheese is washed with Marc de Bourgogne, a local brandy, for a spicy rind.
If you never knew what sommeliers meant when they described a wine as “barnyardy,” this cheese from Cork County, Ireland, is a great example. Imagine what an enclosure full of sheep smells like, and you’re coming close. D’Amico doesn’t fuss with this super-funky cheese too much. He likes to serve it with pears in a simple salad.