I like to think of Muenster like the misunderstood version of Frankenstein’s monster. I had never tasted it before nabbing this one, and always assumed from its name, a hop, skip and an O away from monster, that it would come with bite.
But the Muenster by Bothwell Cheese Inc. from Manitoba (nominated in the firm cheese except gouda and cheddar category for the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix) is far from it. It’s such a light and creamy flavour, it reminds me of the semi-soft standard mozzarella I grew up with.
It’s delicate, but with the light extra je ne sais quoi of tang that comes with a good mozza. It has a slightly smoky musk, a little bitterness but overall a simple, clean flavour.
Its bright orange rind adds a happy pop of colour, but also adds another level of flavour. It’s hard to place and a quick Google reveals that the colour comes from the addition of annatto, a “sweet and nutty seasoning.” It may not sound appealing, but the best comparison I can make is that the rind reminds me of Smarties once you’ve sucked all the colour off. The candy shell tastes light, like if pastel had a taste and like no other flavour I can describe. Muenster’s rind tastes like that.
Needless to say, Muenster is not at all like a monster. Or maybe like the kind you’d like to sit around and snack with, like Mike Wazowski and Sully.
This is the fourth profile of eight cheeses I tried ahead of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. Click here for more on the awards.