The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Munster cheese. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.
What Munster cheese etiquette is
Munster cheese etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Munster cheese. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve Munster cheese to your guests appropriately.
As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat Munster cheese at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.
What you should know about Munster cheese
Munster cheese is a semi-soft cheese that originates from the Alsace region of France. It is also produced in Germany and Austria.
Munster cheese has a pale yellow to orange color, with a smooth and creamy texture. Its flavor is strong and pungent, with earthy and nutty undertones.
Etiquette rules to serve and eat Munster cheese
1) How to store Munster cheese
The ideal temperature to store Munster cheese is between 45-50°F (7-10°C) in a moist environment. If you store in the pantry, keep it in a cool and dark place. In the fridge, wrap it in parchment or wax paper and store it in an airtight container. In the freezer, wrap it tightly in plastic. Munster cheese can last for up to 2 weeks in the pantry, 4-6 weeks in the fridge, and 6 months in the freezer.
Store sliced or cooked Munster cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
When Munster cheese has turned bad, it will have a sour smell, mold growth, or a slimy texture.
2) How to clean Munster cheese
To clean Munster cheese, you can use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess mold or debris.
3) How to prepare & cook Munster cheese
Munster cheese can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare it for cooking, it can be grated, sliced, or melted. Common utensils or appliances used for cooking Munster cheese include a cheese grater, cheese slicer, or stovetop skillet. Popular ways to cook Munster cheese include grilled cheese sandwiches, fondues, and macaroni and cheese.
It is a common ingredient in salads, quiches, and pizzas. It is also a popular ingredient in Alsatian cuisine dishes, such as in Tarte flambée (a thin-crust pizza with cheese, onions, and bacon).
Munster cheese is not suitable for vegan and paleo diets, but it is suitable for paleo diets. It does contain lactose, so it is not suitable for those with lactose intolerance. There are no religious dietary restrictions that forbid eating Munster cheese.
4) How to serve & present Munster cheese
Munster cheese is appropriate for both formal and informal meals, as well as breakfast, brunch, and snacks. You can serve it as a side dish, appetizer, or cheese course, depending on the preparation and presentation.
It is best to serve it at room temperature, typically on a cheese board or platter. You can present it on a wooden board or slate platter, with cheese knives or spreaders for serving.
You can accompany Munster cheese with a variety of foods, such as crackers, bread, dried fruits, nuts, honey, and mustard. It can also be served with charcuterie, such as cured meats or sausages.
5) Food and wine to pair Munster cheese with
Munster cheese pairs well with savory herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, as well as sweet fruits, such as grapes and figs. It pairs well with vegetables such as mushrooms, potatoes, and onions. It may not pair well with citrus fruits or overly sweet fruits.
You can serve it with other types of cheese, such as Gruyere or Emmental. It also pairs well with dairy products, such as cream or butter. It may not pair well with strong or overpowering cheeses.
Munster cheese pairs well with many types of meat, including pork, chicken, and beef. Some popular meat pairings include Munster cheeseburgers, Munster cheese and ham sandwiches, and Munster cheese and roasted chicken. However, it may not pair well with leaner meats like turkey. It is generally not recommended to pair Munster cheese with fish, as the strong flavor of the cheese may overpower the delicate flavor of the fish.
When it comes to wine pairings, Munster cheese pairs well with both red and white wines. Some popular red wine pairings include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. As for white wine pairings, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling are all great choices. It is generally not recommended to pair Munster cheese with sweet or fruity wines, as the cheese’s strong flavor may clash with the wine’s sweetness. Some people also enjoy pairing Munster cheese with beer, particularly Belgian styles like Dubbel or Tripel.
6) How to eat Munster cheese
When eating Munster cheese, it is generally considered polite to use a cheese knife or a butter knife to cut off slices. It is not considered impolite to eat Munster cheese with your fingers. The rind of the cheese is edible, but some people prefer to remove it before eating. When serving Munster cheese, it is important to let it come to room temperature before serving it to bring out its full flavor.
Munster cheese etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the most common Munster cheese etiquette mistakes:
- 6/10. Cutting the cheese in a way that damages its texture.
- 5/10. Not allowing it to come to room temperature before serving.
- 5/10. Not providing appropriate utensils or tools for guests to use.
Additional information for properly serving Munster cheese
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.
The calorie content of Munster cheese can vary depending on the specific type and brand, but on average, a serving of Munster cheese (1 oz or 28 g) contains around 100-120 calories. A single Munster cheese can contain anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 calories, depending on its size and weight.
How to buy the best Munster cheese
A crucial factor in Munster cheese etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.
Season and availability
Munster cheese is generally available all year round, although some small producers may only make it seasonally. There is no specific season that is considered the “best” for buying Munster cheese.
Choose the best
Munster cheese is most commonly found in commerce as a fresh, soft cheese with a washed rind. It is typically sold in rounds or wedges and is often packaged in a way that allows it to continue to ripen and develop flavor over time.
There are several varieties of Munster cheese available in commerce, including Munster Géromé, Munster de Lorraine, and Munster d’Alsace. Munster Géromé is considered the most prized and sought-after variety, known for its rich, complex flavor and creamy texture.
When buying Munster cheese, it is important to look for cheese that is fresh and has a slightly elastic texture. The rind should be slightly moist and sticky, with a reddish-orange color. The cheese should have a strong, pungent aroma, but should not smell overly sour or rancid. It is also a good idea to ask the cheesemonger for recommendations on specific brands or varieties.
Alternatives to Munster cheese
Some common alternatives to Munster cheese include other washed-rind cheeses like Époisses or Reblochon, or soft, creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert.
- AOP Munster: munster-aop.com