Cheese Fest

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Archive for the ‘Washed’ Category


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October 6th, 2013 Posted 3:38 pm

The first thing that hits you about this cheese is its smell. Quite literally, in the face, with the soggy end of an old floor mop. Oh! what a stink! It smells like a zoo’s reptile house! But… my word, is it good!This cheese starts life as an ordinary Caerphilly from Somerset. Then it’s dragged, kicking and screaming, to Godstone in Surrey where some strange and evil magical rites are performed on it. The Caerphilly is washed in Kentish wine and covered in mint and lemon verbena. As it matures, it turns into…

… the dark lord TORNEGUS!


Sticky. wrinkly, pinkish orange brown rind, coated with the blackened remains of the herbs.

The pate is yellow and sticky, darkening towards the rind. Slightly crumbly but also soft and oily. Almost spreadable close to the rind.

The taste is bitter, strong and pungent, like a good smelly Alpine cheese such as Morbier, Appenzeller or Fontina… times 10.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste, because it is strong, but if you like strong smelly cheeses, it is fantastic!

Produced by: Eastside Cheese Company, Surrey.

Purchased from Cheese Please, Lewes.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2013



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July 7th, 2013 Posted 5:22 pm

This rather smelly, but delightful cheese is made in the Champagne region of France in the town of the same name. Bright yellow/orange, sticky, wrinkly and sunken in the middle, Langres looks like a deflated alien brain.



About 3″ in diameter, and washed in Champagne mixed with annatto, to give it the orange rind, Langres is quite a smelly little cheese, slightly sweet, pungent but not stinky.

Then dent in the top is apparently due to the fact that it is only turned twice during maturation.  As the whey and wash drains through the cheese, causing the top collapses in. Some aficionados will pour wine, Champagne or spirits into this dent before serving.

In younger cheeses, the paste is quite firm, but it starts to go gooey around the edges as it matures. Ideally, it is about right when this process has reached about half way (about 1cm). The flavour is complex, there’s a fresh sharpness that makes way to a much mellower and satisfying flavour that has a great deal of character. Eaten with a sip of wine, brings out a floral quality.

Purchased from Selfridges, London

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia 2010


We originally reviewed this cheese in 2010, but on a recent trip to France spent a day in Langres. Of course we had to try this cheese in its home town, although avoiding it would have been difficult. In this town, it seems that everything is either cooked or served with Langres.

Langres in Langres

Langres in Langres

Top: Langres – Bottom left: Langres fraiche – Bottom right: Chaource

We discovered that the Langres cheese is also eaten fresh. It is pleasant enough, but tastes very much like any other fresh cheese. So, we’re glad that they drown it in booze and let it fester for a couple of months.


Stinking Bishop

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April 22nd, 2013 Posted 12:07 am

Made famous by the Wallace and Gromit film “Curse of the Were-rabbit”, this is one of, sadly, few English washed rind cheeses. The practice of washing cheeses was developed by monks, which, when king Henry VIII wiped out the monasteries, also died out.

Stinking Bishop

Stinking Bishop

Washing cheeses enriches the flavour and has the side effect of making the cheese very smelly. (Epoisses, possibly being the most notable. Washed in brandy and banned on the Paris metro because of the resultant pungent aroma.)

Stinking Bishop cheese is washed in perry (pear cider) made from Stinking Bishop pears, the colloquial name for the Moorcroft variety. This pear was apparently grown by a Mr. Bishop, who, by some accounts, was not a particularly pleasant character.

All this aside, does it actually live up to its name? Well, yes and no. Most washed cheeses are smelly, and this is no exception, but it isn’t as overpowering as the name suggests. Even a ripe Camembert would beat it in it’s nostril assailing quality. That said, you probably wouldn’t want to sit in the car with one of these in the picnic hamper, on a hot summer day without the windows open.

Like most washed cheeses, the rind is sticky, with a pale pink/orange colouration. The texture is gooey, but has a slight “bounce” to it. The flavour is actually quite mild. Smooth and creamy with a slightly bitter after taste. It’s pleasant enough, but nothing special.

The main appeal of this cheese is the kudos of having tried it or serving it up to friends on the cheese board.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2011.




February 9th, 2013 Posted 5:21 pm

This is apparently the oldest style cheese in Normandy. Originally made by monks, Livarot is washed in fresh water coloured with annatto, which gives its sticky rind a bright orange appearance. Five indentations around its circumference mark the presence of strands of sedge grass that were used to bind it during maturation.



The flesh, is actually semi-soft though it does look like it’s trying to run out once cut. It is a pale golden yellow with randomly shaped holes and a soft rubbery texture.

It has a very strong cowshed/farmyard smell, with a very robust flavour, somewhere between a Camembert and an Epoisses.

If you like strong, stinky cheeses, then this is definitely one to try.

 Purchased from a French cheese stall outside Brighton station.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2012



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January 22nd, 2013 Posted 6:48 pm

Made in Alsace and Lorraine, north eastern France, this soft rubbery, pale yellow cheese, wrapped in its sticky pale orange rind looks reasonably tame.



But, like most washed cheeses, beneath this gentle appearance, lurks something less respectable. Suffice to say… it’s a bit on the whiffy side.

The smell is pungent like a good Camembert, but has an “alpine farm yard” quality.

Like most cheeses, the smell should never put you off tasting. Munster has a rather interesting “boingy” texture which is pleasant to chew. The flavour is a little bitter and initially quite intense, but it fades quickly leaving a gently creaminess that only subtly echoes the smell.

All in all, a very pleasant experience. Just remember to let it breath before serving.

Purchased from the French cheese stall outside Brighton Station.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia.



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April 15th, 2012 Posted 11:41 pm

Chaumes is a traditional Trappist monk style cheese. It has a soft, waxy, bright orange washed rind. It’s paste is pale cream in colour, soft and rubbery in texture.

It’s washed rind smell promises more than it delivers. It has a mild taste, with a slight tang. Of a similar ilk to that of Port Salut, slightly tastier, but unexciting.

Purchased from Bakers & Larners, Holt.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia 2012