According to a panel of expert UK judges, Stinking Bishop has been voted the most pungent cheese in the country this week at Britain’s very first Smelliest Cheese Championships, held at The Royal Bath and West Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
The Stinking Bishop, made by Charles Martell of Martell and Son in Gloucestershire, was described as “smelling like a rugby club changing room”. Mr Martell however was thrilled with the outcome: ‘I’m surprised to win. I hope more people will get into eating more speciality cheeses because there are so many in Britain – more than in France.’
The professional judges were joined by a group of junior judges, children aged 10 and 11 from Wells Cathedral School, who were selected for their sensitive noses. The panel’s chairman, Tim Rowcliffe of Antony Rowcliffe speciality cheeses, said: “The cheeses were all fantastically smelly but Stinking Bishop absolutely knocked us out.”
Mike Pullin, chair of the Dairy Produce Awards and organizer of the championships said: ‘This has been a brilliant opportunity to show off the creativity of British cheese-makers. We’ve also successfully proved that British speciality cheeses can give the French a run for their money.’
The cheese is named after the Stinking Bishop pear variety, as it is washed in a Gloucestershire perry made from this fruit. The pear was named after a farmer with an appalling reputation as a drunkard, who famously shot his kettle when it took too long to boil.