It’s Just Plain Weird: Munster Cheese & Pets Playing Jenga

munster cheese

Boars Ruining Stinky Cheese

A recent newspaper report tells how wild boars, foraging in Alsace, France pastures are ruining the land for the cows that produce the milk for Munster cheese.

Munster cheese is a soft, washed-rind cheese famous for its strong, some say pungent, smell. The origins of this famously stinky French cheese date back to the 7th century when Irish monks settled in the Munster Valley of Alsace and started breeding milk cows to provide food for the local people.

The cheese is traditionally made by rubbing it in a brine which helps grow bacteria. This process seals the rind, prevents mold but also provides a powerful aroma and flavor. The wheels of cheese are washed and brushed daily and allowed to mature. In the olden days, the cheese was matured in the monks’ damp cellars.

Experts say that the best Munster cheese is made from pastures in the Vosges Mountains that have been mowed for midsummer hay.

Strict rules apply to the making of Munster cheese. Most of the cow fodder must come from local farms in the area but local boars have a different idea. Boars forage for acorns, underground grubs, and roots and have dug up about 60% of these pastures on 43 farms.

The Munster cheese production is threatened because the damage to pasture land means grass cannot grow and is often contaminated by droppings.

The quality of the cow’s milk in the area has suffered and the local farmers are asking for hunters to come and reduce the boar population.

In 2004, a scientific study at Cranfield University in England ranked a cheese called Vieux Boulogne as the worlds’ smelliest. The smell was described as “unwashed feet and unwashed tomcat.”


This Rescue Bunny Reigns as the Furry Champ of Jenga

Mordecai the bunny—or “Morty” for short—doesn’t have any thumbs, but that doesn’t stop him from absolutely dominating at Jenga.

The little rabbit used to spend his days in a backyard hutch, neglected of any companionship or attention. In fact, Morty was so ignored at his old home, he developed a botfly infestation: a nasty parasite that preys on furry mammals.

After he was rescued by animal shelter workers, however, he was eventually treated for his condition and transferred to PETA.

A staffer named Kendall Bryant then adopted Morty as her own—and he has been enjoying a life of luxury ever since.

Morty now enjoys running around his new home, snuggling with Kendall, and “supervising” meal preparation in the kitchen—but most of all, he enjoys a good game of Jenga.

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