Muenster is a cheese from the United States, not to be confused with the French variety, Munster. The name Muenster is derived from an English transliteration of Münster, a city in Germany. The original name of the French cheese comes from Alsatian abbey of Munster in the Vosgian mountains. Munster translates as "monastery", altered from Latin monasterium.
Muenster cheese is semi-firm in texture. It is often soft and the yellow color inside is covered by a red or orange rind. This washed-rind cheese is made from cows’ milk. The orange color is derived from vegetable coloring. It usually has a very mild flavor and smooth, soft texture. In some cases, when properly aged, it can develop a strong flavor with a pungent aroma. This cheese is commonly served as an appetizer. Because it melts well, it is also often used in dishes such as grilled cheese sandwiches, tuna melts, quesadillas and cheeseburgers.
The smell of the cheese is mild when it's first made, but becomes stronger as it ages. Muenster cheese is made in Germany, France and the United States. It is 45 percent fat and has 105 calories in a 1-oz. serving. Authentic French Muenster cheese is made from the milk of cows that graze in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France. American versions are sold younger, and with a weaker taste, than European versions.