Scientists in the UK have found what could be the smelliest cheese in the world.
Vieux Boulogne, a soft cheese from northern France, beat 14 other whiffy varieties in tests. Experts at Cranfield University, who led the research, used an electronic 'nose' machine to analyse the cheese odours, along with a panel of 19 human testers. The machine was equipped with sensors to detect different chemical aromas and was connected to a computer that analysed the different smells.
Senior research officer at Cranfield University Dr Stephen White said, 'The smelliest cheeses were washed-rind cheeses. There was no obvious correlation between the age of the selected cheeses and smelliness, nor type of milk origin, although cows' milk cheeses did dominate the smell chart.' The particularly pungent smell of Vieux Boulogne is created by the use of beer reacting with enzymes in the cheese. It even beat Epoisses de Bourgogne, a cheese so smelly that it is banned from being taken on public transport in its native France. English Cheddar, aged between six and 24 months, was one of the least smelly cheeses tested, along with Parmesan.
The experiment was commissioned by Fine Cheeses from France, a body that promotes French cheese in the UK. Sally Clarke, of Fine Cheeses, said, 'Love it or loathe it, the sign of a fine cheese is often its characteristic smell as well as its flavour and texture, and we wanted to find out if France's reputation for producing smelly cheeses was true.' Indeed it is!
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