World’s Stinkiest Cheese – Vieux Boulogne Cheese

world's stinkiest cheese
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Are you ready to explore the world’s stinkiest cheese? Get ready to tantalize your senses and discover the unique allure of Vieux Boulogne cheese, known for its exceptionally pungent aroma. This smelly cheese has captured the attention of cheese connoisseurs worldwide, but what makes it so irresistibly stinky? Let’s dive into the fascinating characteristics and origins of this infamous delicacy.

Delving into the History of Vieux Boulogne Cheese

Uncover the fascinating history of Vieux Boulogne cheese, including its origin story and the individuals responsible for its creation.

Origins of Vieux Boulogne cheese can be traced back to the picturesque town of Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. This pungent cheese is believed to have been developed in the 1970s by artisan cheesemaker, Daniel Carlier. Carlier, known for his passion and expertise in cheesemaking, envisioned creating a truly unique and bold cheese that would captivate the senses of cheese connoisseurs around the world.

Carlier’s dedication paid off, and Vieux Boulogne cheese quickly gained recognition for its distinct flavor and overpowering aroma. Today, it is renowned as one of the world’s stinkiest cheeses and a true testament to French cheese craftsmanship.

The creation of Vieux Boulogne cheese required the perfect combination of traditional cheesemaking techniques and innovative ideas. Carlier drew inspiration from the rich cheese tradition of France while incorporating his own unique twist. Through meticulous experimentation and a deep understanding of the cheesemaking process, Carlier developed a cheese like no other.

The result? A cheese that is as visually intriguing as it is aromatic. Vieux Boulogne cheese boasts a vibrant orange rind, derived from being washed with beer during the aging process. This washing technique not only contributes to its pungent scent but also adds depth and character to its flavor profile.

Vieux Boulogne cheese has become a symbol of the French cheese heritage, blending tradition and innovation in a harmonious way. Its rich history continues to captivate cheese lovers and showcase the artistry behind this remarkable creation.

A Sensory Profile: Why Vieux Boulogne is the World’s Stinkiest Cheese

When it comes to stinky cheeses, Vieux Boulogne is in a league of its own. This distinctive French cheese boasts an intense flavor and aroma that can be overwhelming for some, yet captivating for cheese aficionados. To understand what makes Vieux Boulogne so uniquely pungent, let’s delve into the science behind its strong aroma and explore the findings of Cranfield University’s stinky cheese study.

The Science Behind the Strong Aroma

The sensory profile of Vieux Boulogne is characterized by its incredibly intense cheese odor. The cheese emits a powerful aroma that can be detected from a distance, leaving a lasting impression on all who encounter it. But what causes this remarkable olfactory experience? The answer lies in the cheese’s production process.

Vieux Boulogne acquires its strong aroma through a technique known as beer washing.

During the production of Vieux Boulogne, the cheese is bathed in beer, allowing it to develop its unmistakable smell. The unique combination of the cheese’s natural enzymes and the properties of beer creates a vibrant environment for the proliferation of bacteria, resulting in the release of volatile organic compounds responsible for the strong aroma.

Cranfield University’s Stinky Cheese Study

To shed further light on the sensory profile of Vieux Boulogne and other smelly cheeses, Cranfield University conducted a comprehensive study. The research aimed to understand the chemical compounds responsible for the distinct perfumes of these cheeses.

Through their study, Cranfield University researchers discovered that Vieux Boulogne and other pungent cheeses share common aromatic compounds, such as methyl ketones and sulfur compounds. These compounds contribute to the powerful odor that makes Vieux Boulogne so renowned.

The study also revealed that despite their potent aromas, smelly cheeses like Vieux Boulogne are highly appreciated by cheese connoisseurs around the world. The unique sensory experience they offer is a testament to the complexity and undeniable appeal of these cheeses.

Beer Washing: The Key to Its Pungent Scent

Vieux Boulogne owes its strong aroma to the beer washing technique employed during production. This process involves regularly washing the cheese with beer, which introduces a range of flavors and aromas into the cheese, ultimately intensifying its smell and taste.

Beer washing is a delicate art that requires skill and precision. Cheesemakers meticulously select the right beer with distinctive flavor profiles that complement the desired sensory characteristics of the cheese. This painstaking process is what sets Vieux Boulogne apart from other cheeses and makes it truly deserving of its title as the world’s stinkiest cheese.

Vieux Boulogne sensory profile

The Artisanal Production of Vieux Boulogne

The production of Vieux Boulogne cheese is a carefully crafted artisanal process that contributes to its unique and distinct characteristics. This renowned cheese is made using traditional techniques and high-quality ingredients, ensuring its exceptional flavor and aroma.

At the heart of Vieux Boulogne production is the expertise and skill of experienced cheesemakers. They meticulously follow age-old recipes and methods, passed down from generation to generation, to create this exquisite cheese.

One essential element of Vieux Boulogne production is the use of premium-quality milk sourced from local farms. The selection of milk is crucial, as it contributes to the cheese’s rich and creamy texture.

The production process begins with the careful curdling of the milk and the addition of specific cheese cultures. This step initiates the fermentation process, which develops the cheese’s distinct flavors and aromas.

Once the curds have formed, they are cut and carefully transferred into molds. The cheesemakers apply gentle pressure to remove excess whey and encourage the formation of a firm texture. The cheeses then undergo a meticulous aging process in temperature-controlled cellars.

Throughout the aging process, the Vieux Boulogne cheese wheels are regularly inspected, turned, and brushed to ensure optimal development of flavor and texture. This hands-on approach by skilled cheesemakers plays a vital role in creating the perfect balance of flavors and characteristic pungency that is synonymous with Vieux Boulogne cheese.

The result of this careful and artistic process is a cheese that truly exemplifies the craftsmanship and dedication of the artisans behind it. Each bite of Vieux Boulogne is a testament to the centuries-old tradition of artisanal cheese-making.

Cheese Connoisseurs’ Delight: Tasting the Intense Cheese Odor of Vieux Boulogne

When it comes to experiencing the unique flavors of Vieux Boulogne, tasting its intense cheese odor is an essential part of the journey. The distinct aroma of this world-renowned cheese sets it apart from others in its category, captivating the senses with its pungent scent.

intense cheese odor of Vieux Boulogne

Strong Aroma vs. Rich Flavor: A Contrast

While the strong aroma of Vieux Boulogne may initially be the focus of attention, its true allure lies in the contrast between its powerful fragrance and its remarkably rich flavor. This complex cheese offers a symphony of tastes, ranging from creamy and earthy to subtly sweet and nutty. The combination of its intense cheese odor and indulgent flavor profile creates a truly distinctive culinary experience.

Serving Recommendations and Pairings

To fully appreciate the flavors of Vieux Boulogne, it is recommended to serve it at room temperature. This allows the cheese to reach its optimal texture and enhances the depth of its flavors. Consider pairing Vieux Boulogne with crusty bread, fresh fruits, and even some honey to complement its robust taste.

For those seeking a more adventurous pairing, Vieux Boulogne pairs exceptionally well with bold red wines such as Syrah or Zinfandel, as the wine’s tannins and acidity help balance the cheese’s richness. Additionally, the strong flavors of Vieux Boulogne make it an excellent companion for a variety of smoked meats and cured meats.

Vieux Boulogne: A Staple in French Cheese Tradition

When it comes to French cheese tradition, Vieux Boulogne holds a revered place. This aromatic cheese, known for its intense smell and rich flavor, embodies the essence of French cheese culture. A true delicacy, Vieux Boulogne is a testament to the centuries-old craftsmanship and passion that the French bring to the art of cheese-making.

The origins of Vieux Boulogne can be traced back to the French countryside, where generations of cheesemakers have perfected their craft. The traditional techniques and locally sourced ingredients used in its production reflect the deep-rooted appreciation for quality and authenticity in French cheese culture.

The allure of Vieux Boulogne lies not only in its strong aroma and robust flavor, but also in the cultural significance it holds for the French people.

This iconic cheese serves as a symbol of regional pride and heritage, representing the unique flavors and traditions of the French culinary landscape. Its presence on a cheese platter signifies an appreciation for the art of cheese-making and a celebration of French gastronomy.

For cheese connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, Vieux Boulogne is a must-try experience that transports the taste buds to the heart of French cheese tradition. Its distinct characteristics and unmistakable aroma make it a standout among the vast selection of fine cheeses produced in France.

Join us as we continue to explore the world of pungent cheeses and unravel the secrets behind Vieux Boulogne’s allure. In the following sections, we will delve into a comparative analysis of other notable cheeses, uncover storage and handling tips, and draw inspiration from the worldwide appreciation of malodorous varieties.

Comparing Vieux Boulogne to Other Notorious Cheeses

When it comes to pungent cheeses, Vieux Boulogne holds a special place among the world’s most notorious varieties. However, it is not alone in its aromatic intensity. Let’s explore a comparison between Vieux Boulogne and other globally recognized pungent cheeses, as well as the cultural appreciation of these malodorous delights.

Worldwide Recognition of Pungent Cheeses

Just like Vieux Boulogne, there are numerous cheeses from around the world that are renowned for their strong aromas. These cheeses have garnered global recognition and have become beloved choices for adventurous food lovers-

  • Limburger: Hailing from Germany, Limburger cheese is notorious for its overpowering smell, often described as a mix of cabbage and feet.
  • Epoisses de Bourgogne: This French cheese has a reputation for its pungent aroma and creamy, runny texture.
  • Stinking Bishop: Originating from England, Stinking Bishop lives up to its name with its strong smell and rich, tangy flavor.
  • Gamonedo: From Spain, Gamonedo cheese is known for its intense aroma as well as its sharp and slightly spicy taste.

These cheeses, along with Vieux Boulogne, have become global ambassadors of pungent cheeses, captivating cheese connoisseurs worldwide.

Cultural Appreciation of Malodorous Cheeses

While strong-smelling cheeses may not be everyone’s preferred delicacy, they hold a significant cultural appreciation in their respective regions. In some cultures, the intense aroma of these cheeses is seen as a mark of their quality and distinctiveness.

For instance, in French cheese culture, cheeses like Vieux Boulogne are celebrated for their potent smells and robust flavors. They are symbols of culinary heritage and artisanal craftsmanship.

Similarly, in German cuisine, the pungent Limburger cheese is revered and cherished as a traditional delicacy.

It is this cultural appreciation that has allowed the malodorous cheeses to transcend borders and find a special place on the plates and palates of food lovers around the world.

Now that we’ve explored the global recognition and cultural significance of pungent cheeses, let’s dive deeper into the art of storing and handling Vieux Boulogne cheese in Section 8.

Navigating the Aroma: Tips for Storing and Handling Vieux Boulogne

Proper storage and handling are crucial to preserving the distinctive aroma and flavor of Vieux Boulogne cheese. Follow these essential tips to ensure the best possible experience:

  1. Keep it sealed: Store the Vieux Boulogne cheese in its original packaging or wrap it tightly in wax paper to maintain freshness and prevent odors from seeping in or escaping.
  2. Optimal temperature: Store the cheese in the refrigerator at a temperature of around 45°F (7°C) to slow down the ripening process and preserve its flavor profile.
  3. Separate storage: To avoid cross-contamination and preserve the unique aroma of Vieux Boulogne, store it separately from other cheeses in the refrigerator.
  4. Avoid plastic: Plastic wrap traps moisture and can cause the cheese to spoil. Instead, opt for wax paper, parchment paper, or cheese storage bags that allow the cheese to breathe.
  5. Prevent drying: If the cheese starts to dry out, wrap it in a damp cloth or place it in a sealed container with a damp paper towel to prevent it from losing moisture.
  6. Don’t freeze: Freezing Vieux Boulogne alters its texture and compromises its flavor. It is best enjoyed fresh and should not be subjected to freezing.
  7. Gentle handling: When handling Vieux Boulogne, use clean hands or gloves to avoid transferring unwanted flavors or bacteria.
  8. Serve at room temperature: Before serving, allow Vieux Boulogne to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes to enhance its flavors and aroma.

By following these storage and handling tips, you can fully appreciate the unique qualities of Vieux Boulogne cheese and savor its exquisite aroma and flavor.


In conclusion, Vieux Boulogne cheese has established itself as the undisputed champion of pungent cheeses, earning its reputation as the world’s stinkiest cheese. With its intense cheese odor and rich flavor, this French delicacy has captivated cheese connoisseurs around the globe.

Through the meticulous artisanal production process, Vieux Boulogne cheese embodies centuries of French cheese tradition. The unique technique of beer washing contributes to its distinctive aroma, setting it apart from other renowned cheeses.

When it comes to serving and pairing, Vieux Boulogne offers a sensory experience like no other. While its strong aroma may be initially overwhelming, the rich flavor surprises and delights the taste buds. This cheese pairs exceptionally well with crusty bread, crisp apples, and a glass of full-bodied wine.

In the realm of malodorous cheeses, Vieux Boulogne stands as a testament to the cultural appreciation of these flavorful creations. Its worldwide recognition and continued popularity reflect the enduring fascination humans have with the complex and diverse world of cheese.

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