9 Dec 2023

Minger: Is this the world's stinkiest cheese?

12:01 pm on 9 December 2023
One of the world's most smelliest cheeses - the minger - created by Highland Fine Cheeses.

Would you try the cheese? Photo: Screenshot / Highland Fine Cheeses

A cheesemaker from Scotland thinks he might have created the world's stinkiest cheese.

The Minger - as it's been called - is a soft rind cheese created by professional cheesemaker Rory Stone.

He describes the stinky cheese as being "brutal on the nose" but with a "gentle taste".

But, he acknowledges it's not for everyone: "For some people, it's just too much; it's too smelly and they don't want it in the house."

Stone and his family have been making cheese for more than 50 years, at their company in the Highlands of Scotland.

He first invented the pungent cheese back in 2017 "We decided to go with the name 'Minger' instead of something fancy."

"Some big supermarkets loved the product but wanted us to change the name.

"We said 'no'. It's a minger - it's minging."

Scottish cheesemaker Rory Stone

Scottish cheesemaker Rory Stone is sticking to his guns when it comes to the name of the cheese. Photo: Highland Cheeses

Did you know?

The word 'ming' comes from the old Scottish English word for a bad smell, so if something is 'minging' it means it is 'smelly'. Nowadays it can also mean something is gross or ugly, or not very good.

Is it the smelliest cheese?

Although Stone can't say for sure that his cheese is the smelliest in the world, he thinks it's up there with the stinkiest of them.

For shoppers worried about the pongy cheese in supermarkets, Stone said: "It's well sealed. So if you're just passing it in stores, you won't get the full effect.

"But if you take it home and put it in the fridge, within half an hour it'll take over the room," he said.

What does Minger cheese actually smell like?

"A pungent aroma of welly boot", according to Stone.

He says if you smell farmer's wellies after they've spent a summer in them, it's a bit like that, because the bacteria used to make the cheese likes hot, dry places.

For some people, it's "just too much" he says; it's too smelly and they don't want it in the house.

Top stinky cheeses of the world

  • Vieux Boulogne: A soft cheese from France with an orange rind that is so smelly it is banned from being eaten on public transport in France. Researchers at Cranfield University once named this cheese the world's smelliest cheese.
  • Epoisses de Bourgogne : Another soft rind cheese from France, Epoisses has a smell that's been described as "unwashed skunk", and was apparently one of Napoleon's favourites. This cheese is also banned from being eaten on public transport in France.
  • Limburger: This cheese from from Germany, Belgium and Netherlands is created using the same bacteria that is responsible for making our feet smell bad. So you can imagine how that smells.

This first story was first published by the BBC.

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