Yes, Wallace & Gromit fans, there is such a thing as Stinking Bishop. And this week, it was officially named Britain's Smelliest Cheese by the judging panel at the Smelliest Cheese Championships held at The Royal Bath and West Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. According to the panel, the cheese smells like a rugby locker room; no word on the taste.
The cheese comes by its name, incidentally, not necessarily because of its own natural odor, but by way of the pear variety that is an integral part of the cheese's making. The pear, it turns out, was named after a "reprobate farmer with an appalling reputation as a drunkard, who famously shot his kettle when it took too long to boil."
Stinking Bishop enjoyed a surge in sales after its cameo appearance in 2005's Curse of the Were-Rabbit, although the makers of the cheese "“ a small farm in Gloucestershire "“ did find themselves overburdened with the possibility of trying to actually meet the demand. Who knows what the smelliest cheese title may do.
Stinking Bishop, however, is not the World's Smelliest Cheese. That honor belongs to a French cheese, Vieux Boulogne, a soft cheese from the northern part of the country. In 2004, scientists at Bedfordshire's Cranfield University used an "electronic nose" to test 14 smelly cheeses, all, like Stinking Bishop, of a washed rind variety. The Vieux Boulogne even bested the famous Epoisses de Bourgogne, a cheese so stinking it is banned from public transport in France.
Perhaps another reason why the English hate the French? [Image courtesy of Cheeses Online.]