Ozapft is! This is the cry used every year to open the festivities for Oktoberfest (as if anyone needs permission to begin consuming large quantities of beer in a giant tent). It means - Its tapped and seems a fitting commencement for a kegger that has occurred for 200 years. A party this big must consist of more than just beer drinking, right? Of course! This celebration has it all: music, dancing, horse-drawn carriages, tight bodices, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, horse racing and shooting games (I still havent figured out how that works). The culinary delights run the gamut too consisting of roasted oxen, bratwursts over half a meter long, schnitzel, pork stews, whole slow cooked chickens and even braised pigs knuckles. A beer festival with all these dishes wouldnt be complete without cheese. So, in honor of this German holiday, I picked three käses, or cheeses, sure to be devoured at an event projected to host more than 5 million people.
Lets start with the most known (and feared), Limburger. Although its roots are firmly grounded in Belgium, Limburgers popularity created a need for production to increase during the mid 1800s. Now a majority of this cows milk cheese is made in the Allgäu region of Germany. The rind is sticky and brownish orange due to being washed in bacteria. The aroma must be akin to what the floor of the beer tents will smell like once Oktoberfest is over, but as with most washed rind cheeses Limburgers taste is mild. Thats not to say it isnt meaty and barny tasting. This cheese is traditionally paired with potatoes, onions and dark pumpernickel bread. Sounds like the perfect breakfast for day two of Oktoberfest! Although Limburger pairs well with several styles of beer, it has an undeniable charisma with Lambics. The acidic sourness of a Belgium Lambic is simply erotic with Limburger. The sparkling cherry champagne flavor of Lindemans Kriek is my personal favorite.