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[Photograph: Kate Williams]

Limburger cheese carries with it many false assumptions (and wrinkled noses). It is often avoided based on reputation alone. But Limburger fans know that if you're willing to get past its strong odor, you'll be greeted with a soft, grassy cheese with background notes of funky mushrooms. Such fans will often be seen eating Limburger on sandwiches with onions or sardines, but a much better use is in Tenaya Darlington's Limburger mac and cheese from Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese. This mac is a standard baked recipe with a milk-based cheese sauce, peppered with classic Limburger pairings. Sautéed onions and brown mustard are stirred into the cheese sauce, and deep brown pumpernickel croutons stud the top.

Why I picked this recipe: Like grilled cheese, mac and cheese is not something to overlook in a cheese-focused book. The use of potent Limburger made this recipe even more of a can't miss.

What worked: Limburger is a surprisingly good choice for this creamy dish. It melts perfectly into the cheese sauce and keeps its signature flavor intact even when mixed with milk, pasta, and butter.

What didn't: No problems at all.

Suggested tweaks: The mustard and pumpernickel are key to the punchiness of this dish, so resist the urge to tweak those. You can augment the mac and cheese with bacon or pork if you're in the mood for lily guilding.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and Berkeleyside NOSH, and she blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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