Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Beer Food: Limburger Sandwich

Limburger and Nancy Silverton Normandy RyeHere’s one for fans of funkier flavours: classic, working-class beer food that’s now probably an acquired taste.  Limburger starts off as a crumbly, salty cheese a lot like feta, but as it ages bacteria on its rind turn it into a pungent and creamy soft cheese.    The smell can be a bit of a shock if you’re not prepared for it: body odour, cheesy feet, that sort of thing. But the taste is actually fairly mild, at least at around 5 months which is when I prefer it.  After that it gets more savoury and tangy and can be a bit much for some people.

I didn’t know what I was buying the first time I picked some up: it was on sale, and I vaguely recalled hearing about it in some connection with beer.  Here’s what Wikipedia told me when I got home:

“In the early 20th century, Limburger sandwiches became a popular lunch for working people due to their affordability and nutritious qualities. They were frequently accompanied with a glass of beer.”

Tartine RyeApparently the sandwiches are traditionally made on dark rye bread.  I’ve never baked anything quite that dark, so when I’ve had these sandwiches in the past few months I’ve used slightly lighter rye breads.  One is Nancy Silverton’s Normandy Rye---something I started making to use up a bad batch of dry cider (pictured at start of post).  The other is a 20% rye loaf from the new Tartine Bread book (pictured right).

IMG_1836Besides slices of Limburger, the filling I use consists of sweet vidalia onions and spicy brown mustard, which play really well with the creamy cheese.  Other people include pickles, anchovies, and similar flavours. Finish it off with a glass of Table Beer I, and you have the perfect brew day lunch!

Next thing I want to try: boterham met plattekaas en radijzen and gueuze.

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