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Stinking Bishop Cheese

Stinking Bishop cheese is a 'washed rind' cheese and is said to be derived from a recipe once used by Cistercian monks in the village of Dymock.
Washed cheeses generally have a strong smell which results from the milk enzymes reacting to the brine or alcoholic solution which is brushed onto their surface during the cheese making process.
Stinking Bishop gets it's name from the pear variety that is used in it's perry wash. The smell has been described as old socks and even worse with stories of people having to remove the cheese from inside the car to the boot during transport. Luckily the taste of the cheese itself is not as strong as the smell of the sticky yellow-orange rind. It has a soft and creamy paste texture and at certain times of year the paste becomes firmer and slightly crumbly. Some may mistake the smell of Stinking Bishop for that of the famous French Epoisses, a cheese which has been banned from the public transport system in Paris because of it's pungent odour.

The Stinking Bishop pear is grown on the Gloucestershire-Herefordshire border and the curds are washed in the perry during the cheese-making process before being ladled into moulds. Salt is not added until the cheeses are removed from the moulds which obviously helps to increase the moisture content and to encourage bacterial activity. The cheese is then washed in more perry as it matures. Making the cheese can take anything between 6 and 8 weeks and is quite labour intensive.

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