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Limburger Cheese Sandwiches

Make in any amount

I had forgotten all about this sandwich with Limburger cheese until a visitor to the website, Melanie Ditzel, sent an email stating that it was a New Year's lunch tradition in her family. My grandmother often ate the sandwich with just the cheese and onions. Limburger cheese is a semisoft cheese made from cow's milk. I believe it originated in Belgium but, since the 19th century, it was produced in Germany and is quite popular with the Pennsylvania Dutch. Limburger is not for the faint of heart, as it becomes extremely pungent as it ripens. As a teenager, I really wanted to learn to like Limburger cheese. At first I thought it was awful. But I kept trying and started to develop a taste for it. However, after Grandmom Weber passed away, I gave up. I tasted the cheese again many years later and it would have been like starting all over, which I have no intention of doing. However, this recipe keeps growing as more people submit their favorite variations. If you are adventurous and like strong tasting cheeses, try one of these sandwiches. You might just start a tradition of your own.

Variation I - This is the way my Grandmom Weber made the sandwich.

Variation II - This is Melanie Ditzel's version.

Variation III - This version comes from Leo Volz, who lives in West Chester, PA. Leo saw my recipe and said it brought to mind a sandwich that the older German and Polish men used to eat at the ethnic social clubs in his neighborhood in north Philadelphia. They called it the "Stinky Sandwich". Leo wrote, "I thought I could eat anything, but I couldn't get the sandwich within a foot of my face, and the other men devoured plates full, piled high."

Variation IV - This version comes from Roger Kitchen, who lives in Pooler, GA. Roger wrote, "I was browsing your site and happened upon the page concerning Limburger cheese. I'm sorry you don't like it - and where I used to live in Pennsylvania many people considered it in the same general category as fruitcake - something of a joke! However, I am particularly partial to strong flavors, and especially cheeses, and my lovely wife and kids know that if they really want to give Dad a treat they only have to find the local market and buy some particularly obscure and yucky-looking cheese! Here is the best Limburger sandwich."

"Spread two slices thickly with the cheese, then cover one slice with anchovy fillets. Drizzle a little of the olive oil from the anchovies on top of the fish, but not too much, and close the sandwich. I like to eat it with a few pickled herring snacks on the side (the ones pickled in wine vinegar, not the creamy ones), taking a few of the pickled onion slices from the jar as well. And you have to make sure to lean forward over the plate when you eat it, because there's no exposed bread to absorb the oil from the fish, so it tends to drip out!"

Variation V - This version comes from Mary Langford, Pahrump, Nevada. Mary wrote, "Limburger sandwiches have been a tradition in my family for at least the past four generations and my daughter is also a fan. However her husband and daughter have not gotten onboard yet. Our recipe is slightly different from what I've read on the web. The crunch of the pickles and onion with the soft pungent cheese is heavenly! Serve with beer, of course."

Variation VI - This version comes from Bob. Bob wrote, "Saw the article about Limburger Sandwiches, with much glee. It is absolutely one of my favorite things under the sun. I do very simple ones. Anybody who hasn't tried one, due to being turned off by the smell, doesn't know what they are missing. Thanks again for the great article about the world's most perfect snack!"

Variation VII - This version comes from John Krim. John wrote, "I was on your site reading about the various Limburger sandwiches (all great). If you really like it, take a piece of Jewish or Russian rye or a crusty bagel, spread Limburger on it, add a few slices of good Polish kielbasa on top and put it in the toaster oven until the cheese starts to melt and the kitchen starts to stink. You should try to use a good garlicky kielbasa made by a small butcher shop versus the kind sold in big grocery chains. I just think they have more flavor. You can also sprinkle your own garlic powder on if you like. I usually have it for breakfast but you might not like it that early in the day. Good eating."