Dorset Blue Vinney
May 1, 2006 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Uncultured moron seeks cheese advice. Dorset Blue Vinney? Anyone?

I'm creating a website which reviews all of the cheeses mentioned in the Monty Python "Cheese shop" skit. An idea I originally fell in love with here but am only getting around to now.

My problem is that I'm nearly through the easy to find cheeses, and am now faced with the possibility the site will either fail in it's goal or cost me thousands in travel costs to Europe. I've exhausted the possibilities at the local Whole Foods, and the only good cheese shop I know of in San Diego is also falling short.

Can anyone help me find a way to get the following cheeses to San Diego in a non-funky state? Liptauer, Dorset Blue Vinney, Savoyard*, Carre de l'Est, Bresse-Bleu, Caithness*, Pipo Crème, Danish Fynbo, and Ilchester*.

* I'm not sure these are even cheese styles. I'm pretty sure they're regions or mom & pop producers.

It's possible I'm spelling these wrong. Or that I could get the cheese if I just called it something else. Names may have changed. Etc. Please advise.

It's a quest. I'm not giving up. If I *must* I'll fly to England and France. But I really have other things I need to spend my money on right now.
posted by y6y6y6 to Food & Drink (15 answers total)
Cheeseline might be helpful.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:31 PM on May 1, 2006

Talk to the nice folks at DiBruno Bros. They should be able to figure out what some of these are, and they ship.
posted by desuetude at 2:31 PM on May 1, 2006

The book 'Cheese Primer' by Steven Jenkins is a good overall resource about cheese, and it may contain the info you seek. The guy has been all over the world and it describes everything from the makeup of various cheeses, to their history, to laws regarding cheese.
posted by bingo at 2:37 PM on May 1, 2006

Can I suggest you also go for some Stinking Bishop cheese? It's been on my mind ever since it was mentioned in the latest Wallace and Grommet movie.
posted by NortonDC at 3:38 PM on May 1, 2006

Either Murray's in New York or Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge (Massachusetts, not England) would be able to help you.
posted by briank at 5:00 PM on May 1, 2006

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm pretty sure I'll end up trying all of them......

And the wife also wants to try the stinky bishop. So we'll be reviewing that as well. Need to get through the skit cheeses first though.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:13 PM on May 1, 2006

Bresse Bleue is real, and really wonderful.
posted by Decani at 5:24 PM on May 1, 2006

Sorry, bleu.
posted by Decani at 5:25 PM on May 1, 2006

Never heard of Liptauer, Dorset Blue Vinney, Carre de l'Est, or Ilchester. They aren't in the Cheese Primer either. You may find Formaggio's in Cambridge, MA to be extremely useful, they would probably love to help with this. Or, more snobbily, try Artisinal in New York.

As for the others:

Savoyard is savoyarde, cheese in the style of Savoie. You probably want to get Beaufort, which is the typical cheese of Savoie and used to make omelette a la savoyarde, made with Beaufort and chervil.

Bresse-Bleu is the American version of a Grench cheese called Bleu de Bresse, a fairly easy to get cow's milk cheese from Burgundy. Pipo 'Crem is a brand of this cheese

By Caithness you may mean the Causses, a sub-region of Languedoc. Roquefort is from this region, as is Bleu des Causses.

Could Danish Fynbo be Tybo or Samsoe? Both are Danish cheeses that are like Emmental.
posted by blahblahblah at 5:34 PM on May 1, 2006

I got Blue Vinney for you. This is actually interesting. From the Cheese Primer:

"I think of Blue Vinney as a phantom cheese since for years its very existance has been the subject of considerable debate. "Vinney" was derived from the Old English vinew, a word for mold, but the original Blue Vinney died out by the beginning of WWII. If it truly exists at all, Blue Vinney is said to be a Dorset cows-milk cheese made on just one farm between Dorchester and Puddletown. And supposedly it was originally made only for family and friends. Over the last 20 years, reports of its availability at this or that shop created an occasional clamor in the press..."

it goes on to say that there may be one place to get it -- Michael Davies on Woodbridge Farm, Stock Gaylard, Sturminster Newtown, in Dorset.

[start mutters] this better be marked best answer[/mutters]
posted by blahblahblah at 5:41 PM on May 1, 2006

Got the last three cheeses! (Google succeeded where my cheese books failed)

Ilchester is simply the largest British cheese company. You can buy it here online.

Liptauer is Hungarian cheese made from the mixture of sheep's and cow's milk. You can make a facimile from a number of recipes, including:

Bess' Original Liptauer Spread
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 jar (2 ounces) capers, drained
1 small onion, grated
Paprika to taste
Combine all ingredients and mix well with electric mixer. Makes about 2 1/2 pounds.

You can order Carre L'Est here.

posted by blahblahblah at 5:58 PM on May 1, 2006

blahblahblah - You are indeed my cheese hero.

I'd already guessed Savoyard = Beaufort, but to have that confirmed is huge.

I will say that I've already done much research on this, including reading some books. But I am really a cheese noob. For the most part you've confirmed what I already knew. Which is good. And bad. Good, because it tells me I've been doing my research right, and that's been a huge worry for me. I really feel like dork when it comes to cheese. And bad because it confirms I will need to travel to Europe to get some of these.

The Blue Vinney was #1 on my worry list. this being my only lead. "Our products are available by: Door Step". That......... will be quite a blog entry.

Danish Fynbo is a subject of debate. Most scripts for the skit actually list it as Danish Bimbo, while the balance list it as Fimboe. Only the folks at Wikipedia think it's Fynbo. To my ear John Cleese is clearly saying Fimboe.

I'm willing to assume Caithness is the one mentioned here. Wikipedia also lists Caithness as an English cheese.

I'm making a point to not self-link, but for those interested in my current thinking about the other cheeses you can follow my homepage link to find the current links. I'm adding the reviews for several cheeses tomorrow.

Much thanks, and any more thoughts about these cheeses are greatly appreciated.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:12 PM on May 1, 2006

y6y6y6, a friend of mine worked at Whole Foods in the cheese dept. and significantly influenced the purchasing/stocking by simply asking for certain cheeses. You might try establishing a rapport with the SD-WF cheese buyer. If they love cheese they might be willing to indulge your requests.
posted by shoepal at 11:39 PM on May 1, 2006

Damn it!!!!!!!! I've been searching all over the place for the blue vinney right? So I mention the ordeal in my blog, and my dad shows up - "It's the only blue cheese I've used for the last ten years. We get it online from"


They spell it "vinny". Thus it wasn't showing up in my search there.

Here I'm thinking I'll have to fly to Europe and rent a car out to some guy's farm, and it turns out dad has a hunk in his fridge.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:52 PM on May 2, 2006

One update - Clawson, which is a fairly large English cheese maker with substantial exports to the US, also makes a Dorset Blue Vinney. But they don't export that one.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:01 PM on May 22, 2006

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