Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at 8 ounces from the France, please welcome Epoisse! His opponent, weighing in at 1 pound from the industrial plants all over the world, please welcome munster!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – EPOISSE WASHED RIND (ALCOHOL)
Our challenger is a semi-soft washed rind French national known for his snobbish ways. Epoisse is a fromage that is infamous among non-Francophones. Stinky feet, sweat socks, gym lockers and various other nightmarish childhood descriptions abound when it comes to Epoisse. In reality, he is a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese that is lovingly bathed with expensive French alcohols most of us can’t afford. His brainy exterior isn’t due to a pulling a “Clark Kent” by donning a pair of glasses, but rather from a geotrichum colonized bloomy rind.
In the Blue Corner – MUNSTER WASHED RIND (BRINE)
The current champion of our washed rind division, munster cheese has grown in popularity due to a historical hard-core German fan-base. Thought to be an American knock-off of the classic Muenster d’Alsace, this industrial version is made with pasteurized cow’s milk. Its orange rind is largely due to annato food coloring. This nutty cheese is somewhat similar to Chaumes (though he might take insult at the comparison). Pound for pound, munster outsells epoisse throughout North America. But is this cheese’s non-threatening character tough enough to last a few rounds with today’s challenger?
- The Play-By-Play
Munster comes out looking like Marlon Brando in a “Streetcar Named Desire“. In contrast Epoisse has such a pungent fragrance that both the judges and referee take a step back in surprise.
AND THE WINNER IS….
Epoisse is the winner by knockout in the first round! While this French fromage might be terrifying to newcomers, he is a delicious surprise to those new to cheese. If his odor is a bit much, just cut off the rind before you try a piece (similar to rinsing the salt off feta before trying a piece when it’s too salty).