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Is Funkmeister cheese the right fit for you? Keep reading and you'll find out.

Maybe until now you were unaware of the existence of Funkmeister cheese. Or perhaps you've sought it out because Funkmeister is your favorite. Either way, we provide plenty of information about this cheese here so you can get to know it better.

Cheese Funkmeister

The state of Colorado is famous for its magnificent landscapes of mountains, rivers, lakes, and plains. The climate is full of contrasts, and the high mountains protect the valleys. The eastern part of the state is mainly farmland and is home to numerous small farming communities.

One of the cheeses that the Granja Haystack Mountain goat cheese company produces in this region is the Funkmeister cheese. Although this company originally focused on goat cheese production when it was founded in 1989 in Longmont, Colorado, it has recently ventured into making cow's milk cheeses.

For nearly two decades, the founder and master cheesemaker, Jim Schott, ran the company until his retirement in 2008. At that time, the company formed a partnership with the Horizon Correctional Center in Cañon City, Colorado. They began purchasing milk from a Central Farm, which provided consistent and high-quality milk. This partnership also offered training opportunities for inmates.

Although Jim Schott has already retired, his influence lives on through the current Quesera of Haystack, Jackie Chang. Jackie Chang, who immigrated from Taiwan through South Korea in the early 1980s, has become one of the most dynamic and talented artisans in the United States. Together with her team, she possesses the patience, skill, and sense of adventure required to create cheeses known for their unique and fresh flavor profiles, without an excessive "goaty" taste.

Funkmeister, roughly translated as "style professor", is a double cream cheese with a washed rind. This process involves washing the rind with a brine solution, which encourages the growth of bacteria on the surface of the cheese. This enhances its aroma, taste, and aging potential. The milk used to make Funkmeister is pasteurized, and both the milk and cream are organic. Additionally, vegetable rennet is used in the cheesemaking process, making it suitable for vegetarians.

Underneath its ocher and slightly gritty rind, Funkmeister has a rich ivory paste. To say that it is creamy is an understatement. The texture is divine and melts on the tongue. The flavor profile is equally magnificent. It primarily consists of a creamy taste with strong notes of raw hazelnuts and softer hints of straw, mushrooms, and earth. There is also a noticeable sweet and remarkable aroma that reaches the nose, not dissimilar to the slight tang associated with yogurt. This cheese is spicy and sharp, without being unpleasant. It has a good amount of salt that hits the palate after the initial burst of flavor, and a very subtle bitterness at the end that is not at all unpleasant. As the cheese ages, the flavors intensify.

Interestingly, despite its obvious tang and spicy taste, my overall impression is that Funkmeister is a delicate and fruity cheese. Of course, its striking and pungent exterior may be a bit offensive to our sense of smell, but there is a refinement to this cheese that places it among the top-rated cheeses of its style, such as Époisses or Pont L'Évêque. It has received numerous accolades, including the Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2017/2018 and the American Cheese Society Award in 2017. It was also chosen by "Saveur" magazine as one of the best artisanal American cheeses in April 2005.

The best way to serve Funkmeister is at room temperature, directly on a crispy French bread. It is also excellent for sandwiches. You can enjoy it on a cheese board alongside sliced apple pie, grapes, celery sticks, and sausages. Funkmeister can also be used in baked dishes. The heat softens and enhances the flavor while still maintaining its depth. Any hint of sharpness disappears when melted with pasta, eggs, or simply spread on toast.

According to Haystack Mountain's website, Funkmeister pairs well with Pinot Gris, Condrieu, Riesling, Gamay, Malbec, Blanc de Noir, Chenin Blanc, or Jurançon. They also suggest serving it with a floral IPA beer.

In conclusion, Funkmeister is an exceptional cheese crafted by the talented team at Haystack Mountain in Colorado. Its creamy texture, complex flavor profile, and accolades from prestigious cheese competitions make it a must-try for cheese enthusiasts.

✓ United States