Limberger Cheese

When we were first married we took a road trip to Wisconsin to meet Laura’s relatives. We drove out in our used Honda Accord. We got near Mankato MN and the car started pouring smoke out of the exhaust. We went, “Oh shit!” and tried to find a Honda dealer to diagnose and fix what was wrong. The best you could do in Mankato, was the Honda dealer that sold snowmobiles, chainsaws, motorcycles, and oh by the way an occasional car. They did have a garage and claimed they could fix the problem. However we had no car so we had to find a place to stay and a place to eat on foot. No cell phones remember.

Well it was an adventure. The dealer had to send to Minneapolis for the part, so we were there another day, but Mankato is a beautiful little mid-western town and we went and swam in the municipal pool and ate a really good Chinese dinner at a restaurant. Not at all unpleasant.

Back on the road, we arrived late at night at Laura’s grandmother’s house in Townsend WI. No one was home, it was dark, we thought should we wait? No, we decided to go over to Erler’s the local watering hole and have a beer. Walking in it was a loud and steamy place, quite crowded. We were immediately spotted by Laura’s Uncle Max, Uncle Al and her Grandmother. This was the first time I had met Laura’s uncles, but it did not take long for me to relax and enjoy their company.

I think we stayed with them about a week. The routine would be breakfast, a heavy lunch, and a light supper consisting of cheeses, radishes, scallions, bread and butter or schmaltz. One of the cheeses brought to the table was Limburger. I told Grandma that I had never had it but I would try it. Once warmed to room temperature it was pungent in odor, but surprisingly mild in flavor. I said I liked it very much.

The next day we go to leave. We decide to drive south to St. Louis and see the Arch. It was August. It was hot. We stayed in a Holiday Inn, which had a covered parking lot. When it got time to leave, we opened the car’s hatch and the smell hit us. Limberger! Laura’s Grandmother had made a surprise gift of a big chunk of Limberger which she had sequestered away in the trunk of our car. I carefully extracted the cheese and disposed of it, but the smell remained. Even though it was hot we drove all the way through Kansas, back to Colorado Springs with the windows down. It took several weeks for the smell to clear out completely.

Thanks Elsie!

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