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World’s smelliest cheese ‘The Minger’ to go on sale at Asda

Rory Stone of Highland Cheeses said they have secured first retail listings for three new cheeses
Rory Stone of Highland Cheeses said they have secured first retail listings for three new cheeses

An artisan cheese hailed as the smelliest in the world is to grace the nation’s Christmas dinner tables after its maker signed an exclusive deal with one of Britain’s largest supermarkets.

Asda confirmed that the aptly named Minger cheese, made in the Highlands, will be available across 54 of its Scottish stores.

The Minger, a pungent brie-style cheese with a harder rind and a gooey middle, has been produced in the North of Scotland for seven years and has won legions of fans among adventurous foodies.

Rory Stone, who runs the family firm Highland Fine Cheeses, said he was delighted it is being made available to millions of shoppers but accepts it could prove to be a controversial addition to the festive cheeseboard.

“The Minger smells meaty, unctuous, cabbagey,” he said. “There’s nothing subtle here and no nice way to describe the smell – it’s simply bad. But it’s all aroma; the flavour is a very different experience. At best it’s moreish, melts on the tongue with a full, rounded umami taste.”

In addition to the Minger, Highland Fine Cheeses has secured its first retail listings for two other products, Fat Cow and Blue Murder.

Fat Cow and Blue Murder will also be sold in Asda stores
Fat Cow and Blue Murder will also be sold in Asda stores

Mr Stone, who has run the family firm in Tain, Ross-shire, since 1994 said: “It is a real achievement and a very proud moment to be able to say our new artisan cheeses are available in Asda, the first major retailer to stock these products.

“The business has come a long way from making cheese in the bathtub to seeing it on the supermarket shelves. Our cheeses are still made by hand but are now produced in our dairy in Tain.”

The Minger’s distinctive orange outer layer is the result of being washed in a solution of Brevibacterium – the microbe responsible for malodorous feet – and then being left to mature for two months.

Asda confirmed that the aptly named Minger cheese, made in the Highlands, will be available across 54 of its Scottish stores.
Asda confirmed that the aptly named Minger cheese, made in the Highlands, will be available across 54 of its Scottish stores

“Our dedicated expert team works really hard to create a unique range of European-style cheeses, handmade using quality local sourced cow’s milk, which comes from traditional breeds where the cows are free-roaming and grass-fed,” added Mr Stone.

“Washed rind cheeses are very seldom seen on supermarket shelves so this is a really exciting time for cheese-lovers – especially for all those festive cheeseboards.”

With the addition of these listings, Asda customers will be able to buy all five Highland Fine Cheeses, including its signature Highland Brie and Black Crowdie.

Ashley Connolly, Asda buying manager, said: “We are continually looking for opportunities to work with the best local suppliers to find really quality and innovative products, so we’re over the moon about our new partnership with Highland Fine Cheeses. I’m sure these lines are going to feature heavily on the festive cheese-boards.”

Ned Palmer, author of the best-selling book, A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles, said Highland Fine Cheeses had a reputation for making “very powerful and pungent” cheeses.

He added that washed-rind cheeses such as the Minger are the “marmite” of the cheese world. “Their bark is often worse than their bite so if you can get past the aroma, they can be very pleasant to eat.”