Slate’s Fuchsia Dunlop takes some of Britain’s most distinctive cheese to China’s fermented-food heartland, for a taste test pitting nai lao (“aged milk”) against chou doufu (“stinky tofu”):
Cheese is not a favourite food in China, to put it mildly. Traditionally, dairy products were associated with the nomadic people who lived on the fringes of China and who were regarded as fearful barbarians…
Over several visits to Shaoxing, I wondered what the locals, such ardent lovers of rotted soymilk and vegetable stalks, would make of rotted cow’s milk, otherwise known as cheese. Finally, I returned to Shaoxing with a boxful of artisanal cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, including the smelliest I could find in the shop. I had selected one mild hard cheese, Isle of Mull, to serve as a kind of toe-in-the-water; Stichelton, which is an unpasteurised version of Stilton; pale, veined Harbourne Blue; Ardrahan, a fairly whiffy washed-rind cheese that I adore; Milleens, another washed-rind variety with a punchy, farmyardy aroma that acquires a hint of ammonia as it ripens; and a wildly smelly Brie de Meaux. By the time I reached Shaoxing after a week on the road, the cheeses had all ripened nicely, and some were beginning to ooze.
Click here to know more about STICHELTON cheese (unpasteurized) from Britain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stichelton