This post is not only a tribute to some amazing Wisconsin products, but also celebrates one of my favorite things - the sandwich. More specifically, a cheese sandwich. I know that last month was all about the grilled cheese, and I saw some really creative and inspiring versions, yet I still crave an old fashioned cold cheese sandwich any day. Its faster, portable, and ridiculously satisfying.
I'm also celebrating a cheese that is unfortunately fraught with stigma - which is so, so wrong. Limburger is commonly known as being some odd foodstuff that one's grandfather would eat, and everyone else in the family avoided it like the plague. Let me tell you - if you haven't had it yet, you've been missing out. Yes, limburger is stinky - but aren't all super delicious and flavorful cheeses stinky? Its a good stink, and once you taste it you'll forget all about what you used to think about Limburger.
Some of the best Limburger is still made here in good old Wisconsin. I used Henning's Limburger, make in Kiel, WI, which is located between Milwaukee and Green Bay. It was a bit difficult to find, but on Milwaukee's East Side there is a wonderful Italian grocery, Glorioso's on Brady, that has a great cheese section. It literally takes up nearly a third of the store. Limburger is super affordable too, and I think it holds up to the fancy and extremely pricy French cheeses I've tried in the past. Another amazing Limburger that fames from Wisconsin is made in Monroe from the Chalet Cheese Co-Operative . There is a wonderful article in Gastronomica's spring issue that discusses the changes in cheese culture in the US, and a section of it compares the production of Limburger made at Chalet Cheese to the tradition of American modernity. It is definitely worth checking out.
After scoring my 2 blocks of this wonderful stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth cheese, my plan of serving it on some fragrant pumpernickel went out the window when I noticed these ridiculously good pretzel rolls on my way to the check out. These rolls are made in good old Milwaukee, and are truly a perfect pairing with Limburger.
Soft on the inside, with a deeply brown and caramelized exterior and the perfect amount of salt. Slathered with a good grainy brown mustard, some thick slices of sweet Vidalia onion (the season for these is almost over!), and several slices of pungent Limburger, there really is no better Milwaukee style lunch. Well, if you pair it with Lakefront Brewery's East Side Dark, then you really have something magical.