Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cheese Most Foul

Take a look at this cheese to the left. Take a good look. Remember it. Burn it into your memory. And if, one day, you should actually see this cheese from afar, RUN.

It's Morbier cheese, a semi-soft cows' milk cheese, and for this you can thank, or perhaps more appropriately, curse, the French. Because it stinks. And not just in a "my, rather pungent, isn't it?" stink, but in a "for the love of God, what foul, putrid creature from the depths of Hell has crawled onto my cheese tray???" stink. It smells like parts of the body that would cause cause children's books to be banned when mentioned therein. It's bad enough within whiffing distance, but it is disturbingly worse when handled by human hands. Only repeated washings with strong chemical soap could remove the stench from Foodgoat's hands.

The Cheese Lady said that if you could get past the smell, the taste would be lovely. The taste was not, and frankly, the taste would have to be pretty damn ambrosial in order to make the smell worth it.

Just to show you how bad it was, not even Sienna would try it. When the dog even the dog won't eat it, I'm not sure it can still qualify as cheese.


  1. Anonymous5:44 PM

    NASTY CHEESE. I brought this cheese back to a hotel room with a wee jar of minced truffles in oil, some pancetta and bread thinking it would be an oh so delightful picnic. I don't know which stunk worse, the cheese or the truffles. Oh that poor hotel cleaning lady.... Farmgirl303

  2. I LOVE morbier! It's such a wonderful cheese, although I won't argue that the scent is intense... perhaps you got an overly-ripe specimen?

  3. Anonymous2:24 PM

    woah! did a supposed food lover honestly just tell people to "run" away from Morbier? Maybe you should try it again, this time without a french-bashing agenda or whiny nostrils. The morbier I know is a gloriously creamy and stringent cheese, with a direct acidic flavor that is ridiculously good. Before you call a cheese foul, why don't you try it more than once?

  4. Morbier tripped your limbic system wires; everyone's different. A nice slab of raclette or gruyere broiled over a square of ciabatta topped w/ shredded cornichons might leave a more favorable impression.

  5. well now I almost HAVE to try it. I like a good stinky cheese challenge.

  6. But how would you rank the stank of that cheese versus the Southeast Asia's favorite forbidden fruit, durian? Just curious. :)

  7. Did someone just call me an unadventurous french-bashing foodie?????

    Me like food
    food good
    cheese stink
    no good
    mmmmmm more burgers

    Hey isn't the purpose of this blog to say what we think about the foods we eat??? Oh wait, sorry we didn't agree with you. WE must be wrong.

    Just don't get me started about Vegans...

    Move along- nothing to see here.

    God bless the good cheeses of the world- just not morbier.

    The one and only

  8. You don't like Morbier! Bwa ha ha ha!!! That means more for the me!

    We first tried Morbier in Ireland and loved it! Yes, it is rather odoriferous but very yummy.

  9. Morbier, a overly stinky cheese? You must've either gotten a bad chunk or have a very low tolerance for stink in your cheese. Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of this cheese. It's not bad, but leaves me kind of "ehh..", esp. the pasteurized options. It's certainly not the smelliest of cheeses though, not by a long shot. On all cases, the taste is never as bad as the smell. Beware the day you encounter Munster (the real stuff), Tallegio or the grand king of them all, Epoisses.

  10. ..and truly, when did stinking disqualify something as cheese (in truth, shouldn't it be the other way around?)..I think, well, the whole country of France might disagree with you there.

  11. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Foodgoat, you may have gotten some bad Morbier. Having handled thousands of pounds of it in a past life as a cheesemonger, I can testify that improper handling will make it really stink, as it will pretty much all washed-rind cheeses.

    Well-handled Morbier should have a dry, sandy-feeling light brown rind with a slightly earthy, almost musky fragrance. If it's gotten wet from condensation, the rind will be sticky, and the washed-rind smell will go from earthy to unmentionable-like-stink.

    Worse yet is if it gets wet and is also dried out - then the rind will smell and it'll crack in places, making it really sad-looking. The cheese will curl up a little bit in that case, too, the wheel no longer sitting flat.

    Wrapping it in plastic and letting it sit that way will intensify all of these flaws, making the cheese taste of the wet rind, which you really don't want.

    By itself, it's not a terribly strong cheese; the smell is more pronounced than the taste. A specimen in good shape eaten away from the rind should be tolerable even to non-stinky-cheese lovers, I think.

    All that said, don't make Epoisses your next purchase. It probably won't go over well either.

  12. WOW, guys! I've never seen such a reaction to a post before. You've really upset ppl w/ this. (btw, I find the reaction kinda humorous).

    I'm w/ Ironstep though; I feel like this is a challenge. I must try this for myself now.

  13. I tasted the very same chunk of Morbier as Foodgoat and Ladygoat. The taste was akin to sucking on the used dental floss of somebody who hasn't brushed in months. It was like eating halitosis.

  14. Morbier is awesome! I've never had a batch that smells the way you described. Jocelyn might be right; you might have gotten a bad batch.

  15. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Real shame about the Morbier but if you want to bash the Brits then I suggest you get your your nostrils around some Stinking Bishop, it will knock your socks off.

    I look forward to you trying Morbier again and letting us know if it was a duff batch or you really cannot stanf the stuff.

  16. Anonymous10:06 PM

    I find French cheeses a bit odd and too sharp. My favourite are Italian cheese

  17. Anonymous5:16 PM

    My BF and I bought a hunk of Morbier yesterday, thinking, "Mmm...we like cheese, and this looks tasty!" We generally like all manner of stinky cheeses, blue and otherwise, and thought for sure our impulse buy would prove rewarding. Unfortunately, when we unwrapped the cheese it (no lie) smelled like an infected, pus-filled wound. We both tried it, with the same not-so-happy results. Maybe we did get a bad batch...but based on the comments here, it looks like this happens all too often! I doubt I'll try it again, no matter how much I (usually) like stinky cheeses.


  18. You're a braver person than me then - I don't think you could pay me to try that cheese again.

  19. Anonymous1:22 AM

    I'm with foodgoat, I love stinky cheese, but when my cheese smells like something coming from someONE who hasn't showered for a couple montgs...Iit didn't TASTE that bad... but it did smell that bad. Also, I had to wonder what my mouth smelled like after eating the cheese, and never tried again. It may have been a bad batch like some have mentioned, but I got it from a reputable store, have always had great cheeses from them in the past. Who knows, maybe I'm a wimp thinking stinky cheese shouldn't smell like stinky human... 8p

  20. Anonymous3:39 PM

    I also have to agree with Foodgoat -- I live to eat foods of all kinds and quite a number of good stinky cheeses. Admittedly though, I have tried Morbier on more than one occassion, have even forced myself past the stink to taste it. The taste is not worth the stink, and the stink is absolutely unendurable. I have never smelled any food as morbidly foul. I simply can't stomache it -- I would rather eat roadkill that's baked for weeks in the hot sun at 90% humidity.

  21. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Morbier ... morbid. Yes, it smells like something that died a long time ago.

  22. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Wegmans was giving out samples of Morbier. I took a bite and gagged. It smelled like excrement. I asked the employee if he knew what it tasted like and he just smiled. Never again!!