Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Podcast



Roundtable Archive Love this? Subscribe to Lapham's Quarterly today.

Comments Post a Comment »

  • Wow, you combine two of my favorite things, cheese and history! Though I have tried, Limburger remains the one cheese I find difficult to appreciate (everyone has one, right?). I never fully considered the cultural history of the cheese which is fascinating. Thanks for this great piece.

    Christine Hyatt

    Posted by cheese-chick on Thu 14 Jul 2011

  • Great piece. "Why don't you dance with me?/I'm not no Limburger." --"Dance This Mess Around," The B-52s, 1978.

    Posted by Franklin Bruno on Fri 15 Jul 2011

  • I grew up in Austria in the fities. I ate "tons" of Limburger. Still do when I find one. We also had another one simular to Limburger called Quargel. It was not as smelly as the Limy but tested almost the same. There is nothing better then some fresh cold ham, horse radish, a limy, fresh rey bread, and of course, a "humpen" of cold beer. Yep,I'll be in heaven! If you ever get to Austria, go to Tirol, you still get it there. Griazzi.

    Posted by Henry Dee on Sat 16 Jul 2011

  • Never tasted it but I smelled it as a kid when one of my cousins got married at The Little Brown Church in the Vale in northern Iowa and some wisenheimer put a block of Limburger on the engine of the honeymoon car. The groom was not amused ...

    Posted by Craig Murrin on Mon 18 Jul 2011

  • Reading this article was like walking down memory lane. I'm 48 years old, born in California, but grew up with a family from mom and dad to aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins who all were from the Eire, PA area and boy did we love to eat the limburger along with pumpernickel, sliced onions, ample mustard and of course plenty of beer for the adults. There was lots of joking and teasing about the smell as well as strong encouraging, attempts at convincing and plenty of dares for us younger ones to take a bite of the cheese. I think I was one of the only ones of my generation who really liked, dare I say, loved the cheese and its flavor. The smell was just extra! Over the years it became harder and harder to find in California until it was no longer available in the stores. I've made a few trips out to Pennsylvannia with my mom recently and the only place we could consistently find it was in Amish stores. Still it's not the same cheese today as it was because as the article explains it has become milder and not as pungent. I'll be online after I post this to see if Myron Olson sells his cheese via the internet...

    Posted by Paul King on Tue 19 Jul 2011

  • Great article! I am sitting on the patio in Tennessee enjoying a sandwich of Myron Olson's limburger on rye and a nice Dortmunder pils. How can a that guy eat so well in Tennessee you ask? Well I just came back from a trip to Wisconsin and as usual I picked up some limburger, much to the protestations of the wife and kids. For the rye, I make it myself because Tennessee does not know for rye. Fortunately good beer can be had most everywhere these days. It is a beautiful spring day and let me tell you life does not suck!

    I, like Paul, was born in the early sixties and grew up in a Western PA German immigrant family. There I learned about the many charms of limburger. What great memories. I wonder if Paul also remembers eating black radishes? I'll leave that for another day...

    Posted by Jeff Binder on Sat 2 Jun 2012

Post a Comment

Note: Several minutes will pass while the system is processing and posting your comment. Do not resubmit during this time or your comment will post multiple times.

Featured Contributor
Ben Schwartz is a screenwriter and journalist living in Los Angeles. He edited 2010's Best American Comics Criticism (Fantagraphics) and is currently working on a history of American humor set between the world wars (the first two). He can be followed on Twitter at @benschwartzy.
Recent Posts
  1. Going Viral in the Nineteenth Century — 03/25/2014: In antebellum America, editors perfected the content-sharing model by swapping humor columns, anecdotes, and ephemera to add essential inches to their newspapers.
  2. Jane Austen’s Trivial Pursuits — 03/21/2014: In which numerous faintings, and several comic tableaux of patricide, class warfare, cannibalism, and drunkenness occur.
  3. How Was the Show, Mrs. Lincoln? — 03/18/2014: After a hundred and fifty years, will it always be “too soon” to laugh at the Lincoln assassination?
  1. April 2014
  2. March 2014
  3. February 2014
The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.
Victor Hugo, 1862
Events & News
January 27 / Purchase tickets for "Death & Comedy" a celebration of readings from our two most recent issues at Joe's Pub. More

Vague Premonitions

The Great Beyond

Current Issue Revolutions Spring 2014

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Audio & Video
LQ Podcast:
Orlando Figes
The Russian historian describes the Revolution’s retreat in the 1920s from its high communist ideals under the New Economic Policy.
Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
Recent Issues