• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

‘Brutal on the nose’: Shoppers warned about smelly Minger cheese


Dec 5, 2023

A cheese that’s been dubbed “brutal on the nose” by its own creator is hitting Asda shelves this Christmas.

The Minger, an aptly named cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheeses, is stinking up 54 Asda shelves in Britain this festive period.

Cheesemaker Rory Stone, who created the pungent dairy product in 2017, warns potential buyers that its odour “dominates the room”.

“It smells like something’s gone badly,” he tells Sky News.

“People put it in their car, go shopping for half an hour and then don’t want to get back in.

“For some people, it’s just too much; it’s too smelly and they don’t want it in the house.”

While the cheesemaker acknowledges there’s no objective way to know if the Minger is the smelliest cheese ever made, he thinks it’s a real possibility.

Cheesemaker Rory Stone Image: Cheesemaker Rory Stone

It may smell like things have gone wrong, but for Rory and his team of cheesemakers, it’s quite the opposite.

“The smell is very intentional,” Rory says.

“I’ve always been a fan of loud, smelly cheeses, and the French have always been great at producing them, so we’re basically copying them!

“But we decided to go with the name ‘Minger’ instead of something fancy. Some other big supermarkets loved the product but wanted us to change the name.

“We said ‘no’. It’s a minger – it’s minging.”

Rory says the orange annatto washed rind, marketed by his company Highland Fine Cheeses as “a pong on the nose, pure pleasure on the palate”, tastes far better than it smells.

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“The smell doesn’t dominate the flavour,” he explains.

“It’s brutal on the nose but it’s actually got a gentle taste. People are much more adventurous with what they eat these days. They want to experience different things with more flavour.”

The Minger has been in delis and farmshops in the north of Scotland, where Highland Fine Cheeses is based, for several years now.

Rory says that’s despite the fact that those stocking it were largely concerned about how well the Minger’s packaging would conceal its “simply bad” stench.

For shoppers who might be dreading going down Asda’s dairy isle, Rory has offered some marginally comforting words.

“It’s well sealed. So if you’re just passing it in stores, you won’t get the full effect,” he says.

“But if you take it home and put it in the fridge, within half an hour it’ll take over the room.”

The Minger is one of three Highland Fine Cheeses products that is now on sale at Asda, along with its Fat Cow and Blue Murder cheeses.


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