Saint Andrew's Day isn't celebrated until the end of the month on Wednesday 30th November but at The Cheese Lady we are running a month-long celebration to highlight the very best of Scottish cheese. Here are my top four Scottish cheeses that you need to sample this month.
Since making Scotland my permanent home, I've always been made to feel welcome and along the way I have even picked up a few Scots words and phrases. But there is one Scottish word which always makes me giggle when customers spot that particular cheese in our display case.
That cheese is called....
Minger is described by Highland Fine Cheeses - who make it - as being, "A pong on the nose; pure pleasure on the palate." This soft cheese is handcrafted by cheesemaker Ruaraidh Stone and his team. As its name would suggest, Minger has a pungent aroma and a soft gooey texture. The cheese is made from pasteurised milk and suitable for vegetarians. The milk comes from only three farms, Sibster and Thrumster Mains near Wick, and Rootfield on the Black Isle. I love both its Scottish name and its memorable aroma.
This cheese is made in Fife by St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Co from raw milk from their home-bred herd of Holstein Friesians, that graze on the fields overlooking the Firth of Forth. Their milk creates a pale crumbly cheese – not unlike Cheshire or Wenslydale. I know just how good it is because previously I worked as a cheesemaker alongside Jane Stewart, making this very cheese. The flavour is mellow yet complex with a touch of citrus on the finish, and an almost mushroom note next to the natural rind. It has wonderful fresh, milky notes and a lively zing.
My following two suggestions both come from the same outstanding Scottish cheesemaker, Selina Cairns at Errington cheese. The family keep a flock of Lacaune ewes, as well as dairy goats on Walston Braehead Farm near Lanark where they produce their incredible award-winning cheeses.
3. Lanark Blue
Lanark Blue is one of the most iconic Scottish blues. Invented in early the 1980s by Humphrey Errington (Selina’s father) who was inspired by the famous Roquefort. Lanark blue is made from raw Lacaune ewes milk and it is suitable for vegetarians. The paste is compact and somewhat crumbly on the palate with sweet and nutty notes emerging after the initial saltiness of the blue mould. For me, Lanark Blue is the perfect expression of the Scottish terroir.
4. Corra Linn
Corra Linn is one of the most sought-after Scottish farmhouse cheeses, which has a firm texture and is created to a cheddar recipe. It is made by hand from raw sheep's milk and matured for a minimum of 12 months, developing a real depth to its flavour and aroma. Corra Linn cheese is firm and crumbly in texture with pleasant nutty lingering notes and light earthy and lanolin-y afternotes.
I hope I have tempted your taste buds with these amazing cheeses. If I have, why not treat yourself to a full Scottish cheeseboard? Also known as, The Cheese Lady's Scottish cheese selection. It comes with my four favourite Scottish cheeses and two artisan condiments that will be sure to take you on a gastronomic tour of Scotland this month!
The Cheese Lady x
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