The True and Accurate Historical Story of Limburger Cheese
There is one salient fact about Limburger cheese: it is just awful. The only time I would need Limburger cheese, would be if I needed something that smelled like death and the smell from my giant pile of opossum crap just wasn’t enough.
Did you know the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese is the same bacterium that is responsible for body odor, and in particular, foot odor?
If you’ve ever smelled Limberger cheese, you had your suspicions.
Limburger cheese was first created in the Duchy of Limburg in the 19th century by a man who had just come home from a hard day of cheese making. He had unbuckled and removed his boots and was attempting to enjoy a meal with his wife when he and his wife got into an argument that changed the history of cheese making forever.
Wife: What is that horrendous smell?
Cheesemaker: Ooh, we’re having stoofvlees, I love stoofvlees.
Wife: It’s the most putrid smell I have ever encountered.
Cheesemaker: I don’t smell anything. Pass the ale.
Wife: I think it’s your feet.
Cheesemaker: Seriously. Pass the ale.
Wife: It’s rancorous.
Cheesemaker: It’s not that bad.
Wife: It is that bad. There are people retching on the other side of the Demer River.
Cheesemaker: Do you know what this conversation isn’t doing? It isn’t remedying the fact that I have no ale.
Wife: Your feet smell worse than that giant pile of opossum crap you have behind the house.
Cheesemaker: I’ll get my own ale.
Wife: Why do you even have a giant pile of opossum crap?
Cheesemaker: I’ll tell you why, (he pauses to take a slug of ale) because someday you’ll be in desperate need of copious amounts of opossum crap, and you’ll be glad it’s there.
Wife: I’ve thought the same thing about you, but it still hasn’t happened. Besides, it’s the worst smell in the world.
Cheesemaker: Nonsense. It’s not the worst smell in the world. In fact, I’ll bet that I could make a cheese that smells worse.
Wife: I doubt it.
Cheesemaker: You’ll see; it will become my mission.
Wife: Shut up and drink your ale.
And drink his ale he did.
And succeed he did–beyond his wildest ale-fueled dreams.
Of course, his wife left him and his giant pile of opossum crap.
The Duchy of Limburg is now divided by modern-day Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. None of the three countries wanted it: it reeked of Limburger cheese and developed a huge opossum problem.
Addendum: there are historians who will tell you certain items in this story aren’t factual–historians suck.