Stinking Bishop is a full fat pasteurised cow’s milk soft cheese made by Charles Martell & Son since 1972 at their Laurel Farm in Dymock, England. Milk of rare Gloucester cattle is used to produce the cheese though sometimes their milk is mixed with the milk of Friesian cattle.
Made with vegetarian rennet, this cheese is also suitable for vegetarians. The rind is washed in Perry, an alcoholic drink made with the local variety of Stinking Bishop pear, which gives the cheese its name. The alcoholic wash gives the cheese its distinctive pungent aroma and brown/pink rind colour. As a result of the natural rind, changeable hues of mould spots appear on the cheese from time to time.
This unique cheese dates its history to the Cistercian order of monks. To keep up with the tradition of monastic cheeses, Stinking Bishop is also matured in humid cave-like conditions.
The colour of the cheese paste varies from white-yellow to beige, with an orange to a grey rind. It is available in 5lbs wheels, each measuring 8-inches in diameter and 2-inches deep. The affinage takes from six to eight weeks. Stinking Bishop is produced in very limited quantities but its stinky smell has made it very popular in the United Kingdom and abroad.