No I’m not talking about a real bishop. I’m talking about the cheese. It’s been on my top five things to eat for a while now. It’s made in England with milk that comes from Gloucester cattle. Forty or so years ago they were stinking bishopclose to being extinct, but then this man (Charles Martell and Son of Laurel Farm) decided to save them for make Stinking Bishop cheese. It’s an old style washed rind cheese that ends up smelling REALLY strong by the time it’s fully matured. The rind is washed with Perry which is a liquor made from Stinking Bishop pears. The pears themselves don’t stink, they were just originally cultivated by an angry man by the name Bishop. His neighbors didn’t like him, so they started calling him the Stinking Bishop. “See, nothing to do with clergy.”

I tried to get some of this cheese a while ago, but they ran out. The farm only produces about 20 tones per year which may sound like a lot, but 20 tones is about what the average American consumes each year alone (just kidding, but real close). My cheese originally came from England, but I bought it through igourmet.com. They sells loads of yummy things. My cheese order plopped onto my doorstep less than 24 hours after ordering. “Now that’s service!”

I’ve eaten Limburger Cheese before (entry level stinky cheese), and actually liked it. Limburger is another washed rind cheese, but it’s washed with the same bacteria that causes body odor on humans. NICE! Apart from the armpit smell, the cheese was pretty good. “Never judge a book by it’s cover.” In the way of stink, Stinking Bishop Cheese is light years ahead of Limburger. It comes wrapped in cellophane then sealed in a vacuum tight plastic sleeve. That’s a good thing, because as soon as you break the vacuum the whole room fills with a stinky body odor/diaper smell. It was pretty potent! I was not, however, daunted by the smell. I dove right in without the slightest second thought. We’ll maybe a few…. I thought the cheese tasted really good, but with a lot of your taste perception coming from your nose, I felt like I was sitting in a port-a-potty on a hot day sampling a cheese platter. It was that good. hahahahaha

Aside from the smell, the cheese is very mild and very creamy. It almost melts in your mouth. The rind is supposedly edible, but there is some pretty psychedelic looking blue molds growing on it, so I passed. I later found a quote from a fellow named Cheese monger Jack who says, “Rind haters who feel they are being overcharged because they can’t eat a particular rind should stick to buying bananas without skin or pre-cut fruit salad”¦talk about an unfriendly bacteria environment”¦”

Now I feel like a wimp who has no real desire to experience something special? <sigh> So tomorrow I will be consuming the remainder of my smelly treasure rind and all. I tried the cheese plain, on crackers, and with honey. The crackers were meh, but the honey seemed to add to the creaminess of the cheese, and the sweetness of the honey seemed to cut through its richness. I like it! Too bad I have to eat it in the garage. I don’t think the person I live with would care too much for the house smelling like an public toilet just so I can get a cheese fix.

I say again! Don’t let the smell turn you off. Remember the whole judging books by covers adage. One thing I have learned while sampling all of these unusual foods is that usually the bigger the hype, or the bigger the fear, the better a food tastes. People said Durian tasted nasty, but I loved it. People hated Limburger, but I found it to be a nice tasting cheese with a bad smelling rap. Now Stinking Bishop has been added to the list of odd smelling, odd textured, odd whatever foods that I like. Hmm What does that say about me?

 

 

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