Food by VICE

Woman's Years-Long Feud with Very Smelly Cheese Shop Ends in Court Ruling

With the smell of cheese seeping into her home, a woman in Germany went to court for the right to publicly complain.

by Bettina Makalintal
Dec 18 2019, 6:31pm

Photo by Adam Davies via Getty Images

In late 2017, a Manhattan cheese shop shuttered so quickly that it left bread and cheese lingering in its displays, despite the fact that both its phone line and electricity had been disconnected. As the weeks (yes, weeks) dragged on, the decaying dairy created such a stink that a neighboring hat store owner issued an unforgettable cry for help: "The smell of cheese is seeping into my hat shop."

Meanwhile, in Germany, Manuela Kragler has found a similar predicament—except instead of her hat shop, it's her home, where the smell of the downstairs Tölzer Kasladen cheese shop has affronted her for years. While most people might find the idea of a downstairs fromagerie appealing—your night cheese, in such close reach!—Kragler claims that the experience stinks to high heaven, with the smell seeping in through the windows, staircase, and even electrical sockets, per the BBC. The shop typically stocks over 200 types of cheese and ages around three tons of it on-site.

The cheese shop and Kragler have been at odds since 2016, with Kragler putting up signs showing a warning sign and a nose on the shop's windows. This action, store owner Wolfgang Hofmann told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, damaged the shop's reputation. According to the BBC, Kragler took the shop to court this week over her right to display the signs, and the court ruled yesterday that she couldn't. She could, however, continue speaking vocally about just how much the store smells because it's both "an expression of opinion" and a representation of facts to say that a house above a cheese shop smells like cheese.

Though the court's decision went partially in his favor, Hoffmann is planning to move the shop due to the neighborhood backlash. He claims that neighbors have even hidden cheese behind fuse boxes to blame his shop for the bad odor, which he says actually comes from the farms nearby.

Either way, this stinks for both parties, and we'd all do well to keep this in mind the next time we find ourselves apartment-hunting.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

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