This full-fat soft cheese is not as powerful as its pungent smell may suggest. Washed in perry, the sticky orange rind has a strong, aroma, but the supple interior is surprisingly sweet and mild.
A monastic type of cheese which owes its origin to the Cistercian order of monks who once farmed the pastures of Hunts Court Farm whence it was launched in 1994.
As with many monastic cheeses, this variety is matured in humid cave-like conditions. The rind is washed in perry which is abundant in this part of Gloucestershire. One of the ancient perry varieties is the ‘Stinking Bishop’, a name which seems appropriate for this cheese.
The Stinking Bishop pear was in turn named after a local mid 19th Century farmer called Frederick Bishop. He earned himself the nick-name 'Stinking Bishop' because of his riotous behaviour.
The cheese is supported by a collar of beechwood.
Made with pasteurised cow's milk (MILK) and fermented perry.
It is necessary to apply a common sense approach to cheese care and respond to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines.
The best option is to keep the cheese wrapped in its waxed paper within a box in the fridge. The container will help to prevent the cheese from drying out and prevent the cheese from absorbing flavours.
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About the producer
Hunts Court Farm became home to the Martells in 1972. Forever concerned to maintain good rural heritage, Charles began breeding the critically endangered Old Gloucester cows and making 'proper' Double Gloucester cheese with their milk.
Charles was one of a group who got together to re-establish the breed society to maintain pedigree records and do everything in their power to try to ensure the breed's survival. Charles' contribution was to draw attention to the breed's plight by putting it to work doing what it does best, which is to produce milk for making Single and Double Gloucester cheese. At the time Charles had no idea how to make cheese but no-one seemed to care they just wanted a slice of the story and the history of this beautiful breed of cow.The breed is the oldest dairy breed in Britain and dates back to the 13th Century.
Over the past 4 decades, Charles has developed a range of hard and soft cheeses, the best known being Stinking Bishop.
Further, impressed by the magnificent perry pear trees on his farm and the surrounding area (Dymock lies at the heart of perry pear country) he began looking for examples of the 100 or so old varieties ‘because no-one else was, and they appeared to be dying out’. He grafted and re-planted them before they became extinct. The Hunts Court Farm trees with names like ‘Painted Lady’, ‘Hedgehog Pear’ and ‘Spirit Pear’, are now bearing useful quantities of fruit.