Probably the best known cheese from Alsace, Munster is a soft, rich, strong and unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese with a washed rind, made since the 7th century and aged in the cellars of the abbey that gave it its name. Some add cumin seeds in the paste, or on top, and like it with a side of boiled potatoes.
In the Middle Ages, the local cattle herders, the marcaires would pay the owners of the land in butter or cheese. This old custom lingered into the 1600s in two parts of the AOP area, Munster gérômé (cheese from the mountainous area of Gérardmer in the western Lorraine and matured in Alsace on the other side of the Vosges) and plain old ‘Munster’ from the eastern area around Munster itself.
Image by Zubro