Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Scientists name world's wiffiest cheese
Cranfield University ^ | 11/26/04

Posted on 12/01/2004 3:14:18 PM PST by LibWhacker

Issue Date: Friday 26 November, 2004
Release Date: Friday 26 November, 2004


Steve White and Sarah Morgan
Stephen White and Sarah Morgan

"Vieux Boulogne, a soft, yet firm French cheese made from cow's milk and matured by washing with beer, tops a list of the smelliest cheeses reveals scientists today. The artisan-made cheese was tested for its smell along with other known pungent cheeses by Cranfield University on behalf of Fine Cheeses from France.

"Love it or loathe it, the sign of a fine cheese is often its characteristic smell as well as its flavour and texture and we wanted to find out if France's reputation for producing smelly cheeses was true," said Sally Clarke from Fine Cheeses from France.

Dr Stephen White, senior research officer Cranfield University led the study by using an electronic nose as well as a human olfactory panel to sniff out those with the strongest scent.

Fifteen cheeses were selected with the help of cheese experts in France and the UK and put through the smelly stakes. Dr Stephen White said: The results suggest that electronic nose technology could be a useful tool for cheese characterisation, quality control and authenticity testing in the future. The smelliest cheeses were washed rind cheeses. There was no obvious correlation between the age of the selected cheeses and smelliness, nor type of milk origin, although cow's milk cheeses did dominate the smell chart.

Cheeses whose rinds are washed (in a salt water solution, beer or brandy) were rated smelliest. Tops was Vieux Boulogne followed by Pont l’Evêque -- both washed rind cheeses, produced from the milk of cows raised on the lush, coastal pastures of Normandy.

Camembert de Normandie, the most widely imitated cheese in the world, was rated third. It has a natural rind and is best known for its creamy texture and mushroomy aroma.

Hard cheeses were found to be least smelly of all. Goat's cheese, English Farmhouse Cheddar, Ossau Iraty, Raclette and Parmesan took the bottom five places in the smell league.

Pungent smelling cheeses are becoming more popular in the UK - Epoisses de Bourgogne (probably the most pungent smelling cheese that is widely available here) is now sold in Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, but in this study it was found to be less pungent than other speciality rind washed cheeses such as Livarot.

The Cheese Smell League

Most Smelly

Vieux Boulogne

Cow's milk cheese from Boulogne sur Mer, Pas de Calais, aged 7-9 weeks, rind is washed with beer


Pont l’Evêque AOC

Cow's milk cheese from Normandy, aged 6 weeks, rind is washed with brine


Camembert de Normandie AOC

Cow's milk cheese from Normandy, min age 21 days, soft, bloomy rind



Cow's milk cheese from Alsace Lorraine, N E France, aged 3 weeks, rind is washed with brine


Brie de Meaux AOC

Cow's milk cheese from Ile de France, outside Paris, aged 4-8 weeks, soft, bloomy rind


Roquefort AOC

Sheep's milk cheese from Roquefort, near Toulouse, aged 3 months, blue mould cheese


Reblochon AOC

Cow's milk cheese from Savoie region in France, aged 3-4 weeks


Livarot AOC

Cow's milk cheese from Normandy, aged 90 days, rind is washed with brine


Banon AOC

Goat's milk cheese from Provence region, aged 1-2 weeks and wrapped in chestnut leaves


Epoisses de Bourgogne AOC

Cow's milk cheese from Burgundy, aged 4-6 weeks, rind is washed with brandy (Marc de Bourgogne)



Cow's milk cheese from Italy, aged 2 years



Cow's milk cheese from French Alps, aged 2 months


Ossau Iraty AOC

Sheep's milk cheese from Basque region in S France, aged 3 months



Cow's milk cheese made across the UK, aged 6-24 months

Least Smelly

Crottin de Chavignol AOC

Goat's milk cheese from Chavignol near to Sancerre in the Centre region of France, aged for minimum of 10 up to 6 months. The test sample was aged 4-6 weeks old.

Patricia Michelson, owner of La Fromagerie cheese shops in London said: The group of washed rind cheeses, originating in northern France have a reputation for their strong smell which results from the milk enzymes reacting to the brine or alcoholic solution which is brushed onto their surface during the cheese making process.

Vieux Boulogne is a young, modern cheese with a surprisingly mellow and gentle taste that's perfect served with some crusty bread and a beer. It's a great cheese to try, as it doesn't have the earthy, farmyardy flavours that some people find overpowering.

Sally Clarke said: France has a huge selection of weird and wonderful whiffy cheeses and their smell often disguises a delicate, subtle flavour that has to be tried to be believed. So, we're encouraging British shoppers to be a little more daring with their Christmas cheeseboard by choosing one of the cheeses from our smell study.

Visit BLOCKED COMMERCIAL LINK for more information


Editors Notes

About the study

About Vieux Boulogne

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: cheese; cheesealert
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-27 next last

1 posted on 12/01/2004 3:14:18 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Not getting excellent cheese is the major hardship in boycotting French products.

2 posted on 12/01/2004 3:18:38 PM PST by buwaya
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Customer: Good Morning.

Owner: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the National Cheese Emporium!

Customer: Ah, thank you, my good man.

Owner: What can I do for you, Sir?

Customer: Well, I was, uh, sitting in the public library on Thurmon Street just now, skimming through Rogue Herrys by Hugh Walpole, and I suddenly came over all peckish.

Owner: Peckish, sir?

Customer: Esuriant.

Owner: Eh?

Customer: 'Ee, ah wor 'ungry-loike!

Owner: Ah, hungry!

Customer: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, "a little fermented curd will do the trick," so, I curtailed my Walpoling activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles!

Owner: Come again?

Customer: I want to buy some cheese.

Owner: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bazouki player!

Customer: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse!

Owner: Sorry?

Customer: 'Ooo, Ah lahk a nice tuune, 'yer forced too!

Owner: So he can go on playing, can he?

Customer: Most certainly! Now then, some cheese please, my good man.

Owner: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?

Customer: Well, eh, how about a little red Leicester.

Owner: I'm, a-fraid we're fresh out of red Leicester, sir.

Customer: Oh, never mind, how are you on Tilsit?

Owner: I'm afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.

Customer: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, four ounces of Caerphilly, if you please.

Owner: Ah! It's beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.

Customer: 'T's Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, Bel Paese?

Owner: Sorry, sir.

Customer: Red Windsor?

Owner: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.

Customer: Ah. Stilton?

Owner: Sorry.

Customer: Ementhal? Gruyere?

Owner: No.

Customer: Any Norweigan Jarlsburg, per chance.

Owner: No.

Customer: Lipta?

Owner: No.

Customer: Lancashire?

Owner: No.

Customer: White Stilton?

Owner: No.

Customer: Danish Brew?

Owner: No.

Customer: Double Goucester?

Owner: No.

Customer: Cheshire?

Owner: No.

Customer: Dorset Bluveny?

Owner: No.

Customer: Brie, Roquefort, Pol le Veq, Port Salut, Savoy Aire, Saint Paulin, Carrier de lest, Bres Bleu, Bruson?

Owner: No.

Customer: Camenbert, perhaps?

Owner: Ah! We have Camenbert, yessir.

Customer: (suprised) You do! Excellent.

Owner: Yessir. It's..ah,'s a bit runny...

Customer: Oh, I like it runny.

Owner: Well,.. It's very runny, actually, sir.

Customer: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la Belle France! Mmmwah!

Owner: I...think it's a bit runnier than you'll like it, sir.

Customer: I don't care how fucking runny it is. Hand it over with all speed.

Owner: Oooooooooohhh........!

Customer: What now?

Owner: The cat's eaten it.

Customer: Has he.

Owner: She, sir.

Customer: Gouda?

Owner: No.

Customer: Edam?

Owner: No.

Customer: Case Ness?

Owner: No.

Customer: Smoked Austrian?

Owner: No.

Customer: Japanese Sage Darby?

Owner: No, sir.

Customer: *have* some cheese, don't you?

Owner: (brightly) Of course, sir. It's a cheese shop, sir. We've got--

Customer: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.

Owner: Fair enough.

Customer: Uuuuuh, Wensleydale.

Owner: Yes?

Customer: Ah, well, I'll have some of that!

Owner: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Wensleydale, that's my name.

Customer: Greek Feta?

Owner: Uh, not as such.

Customer: Uuh, Gorgonzola?

Owner: no

Customer: Parmesan,

Owner: no

Customer: Mozarella,

Owner: no

Customer: Paper Cramer,

Owner: no

Customer: Danish Bimbo,

Owner: no

Customer: Czech sheep's milk,

Owner: no

Customer: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?

Owner: Not *today*, sir, no.

Customer: Aah, how about Cheddar?

Owner: Well, we don't get much call for it around here, sir.

Customer: Not much ca-- it's the single most popular cheese in the world!

Owner: Not 'round here, sir.

Customer: and what IS the most popular cheese 'round hyah?

Owner: 'Illchester, sir.

Customer: IS it.

Owner: Oh, yes, it's staggeringly popular in this manor, squire.

Customer: Is it.

Owner: It's our number one best seller, sir!

Customer: I see. Uuh...'Illchester, eh?

Owner: Right, sir.

Customer: All right. Okay. 'Have you got any?' he asked, expecting the answer 'no'.

Owner: I'll have a look, sir...

Customer: It's not much of a cheese shop, is it?

Owner: Finest in the district!

Customer: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.

Owner: Well, it's so clean, sir!

Customer: It's certainly uncontaminated by cheese....

Owner: (brightly) You haven't asked me about Limburger, sir.

Customer: Would it be worth it?

Owner: Could be....


Owner: Told you sir....

Customer: (slowly) Have you got any Limburger?

Owner: No.

Customer: Figures.Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me:

Owner: Yessir?

Customer: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any cheese here at all.

Owner: Yes, sir.

Customer: Really?


Owner: No. Not really, sir.

Customer: You haven't.

Owner: Nosir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time, sir.

Customer: Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to shoot you.

Owner: Right-Oh, sir.

(The customer takes out a gun and shoots the owner)

Customer: What a *senseless* waste of human life.

3 posted on 12/01/2004 3:24:33 PM PST by OSHA (He is unbeatable. Christ, we beat him twice, and he's still President. (DU Cherry.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Are they sure that Vieux Boulogne is the worlds smelliest?
I think that they need to look at some of the forgotten ones on my refrigerator.
4 posted on 12/01/2004 3:25:27 PM PST by Grey Rabbit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Any Canadians here who've ever had "Oka" cheese from Quebec? I recall that's the worst I've ever smelled.
5 posted on 12/01/2004 3:28:25 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Santorum 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

I think that I'll take a good American cheese and soak it in whiskey.

6 posted on 12/01/2004 3:28:57 PM PST by Grey Rabbit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: buwaya
Not getting excellent cheese is the major hardship in boycotting French products I fudged a little at Thanksgiving and bought a Camembert (unpasteurized only). Cepu fromage. There is one stinkier, in the alps they blend all the last parts of the cheese and keep it for winter. Ate it one time and thought I was gonna die.
7 posted on 12/01/2004 3:29:42 PM PST by SF Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker; MeekOneGOP

Cheese bump!

8 posted on 12/01/2004 3:33:36 PM PST by EdReform (Free Republic - helping to keep our country a free republic. Thank you for your financial support!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
a soft, yet firm French cheese

It can be either one, or the other, but not both. It could be semi-soft.

9 posted on 12/01/2004 3:35:43 PM PST by BykrBayb (5 minutes of prayer for Terri, every day at 11 am EDT, until she's safe.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: buwaya
You might want to try the Rouge et Noir Original from the Marin French Cheese Company (although Marin County may be as bad as France).

If it's not available locally you can order it from their web site but it does require a four (small) wheel minimum.

Their cheese is as good as any I've ever had.

10 posted on 12/01/2004 3:37:06 PM PST by Proud_texan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

French Cheese Is Smelliest in U.K. Test

French Cheese Is Smelliest in British Researcher's Test

11 posted on 12/01/2004 3:37:18 PM PST by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: buwaya

I can't believe Munster is so high up there on the list. My wife and I both like Munster and can't remember it being so bad . . . Guess we never had the real thing! . . .

12 posted on 12/01/2004 3:38:57 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: PAR35
Arghhh! . . . I searched and couldn't find it. I guess 'wiffiest' threw off the search engine!

Actually, the word 'wiffiest' caught my attention and is one of the reasons I posted this article! :-(

'Ya gotta love the Brits!

13 posted on 12/01/2004 3:41:31 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Gourmet selection in our house comes down to cost. Those cheeses that offer individually wrapped slices are the most cost effective because they can survive many days on the counter next to the frig. without morphing into lab specimens.
14 posted on 12/01/2004 3:43:05 PM PST by crazyhorse691 (We won. We don't need to be forgiving. Let the heads roll!!!!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ElkGroveDan

Ah, across the river from Hudson, home of the Willows Inn.
And I'm not even Canadian.

15 posted on 12/01/2004 3:43:42 PM PST by Buck W. (How can anyone who works for a living vote democrat?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Grey Rabbit

So you like to impart an artificial wiffiness to your cheese, lol?

16 posted on 12/01/2004 3:44:04 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker
Munster? Parmesan? They must not have smelled and tasted this foul product!

17 posted on 12/01/2004 3:46:14 PM PST by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Ah the Bad Ole Days – a bit of Limburger on someone’s exhaust manifold!

18 posted on 12/01/2004 3:47:37 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

LOL, hillarious! Is that a Monty Python skit?

Two points: 1) You broke my plugin for Firefox; 2) You broke my funnybone, thank you! :-)

19 posted on 12/01/2004 3:58:37 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!

Ewwwwww! . . . That looks nasty. I think I'll pass on that one, thank you very much!

20 posted on 12/01/2004 4:00:00 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-27 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson