Year of Food and Drink 2015
East Lothian bread on North Berwick Law
overlooking the Bass Rock, East Lothian
August is a celebration of Scottish dairy products for the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015.
Cheese made from skimmed cow's or sheep's milk is believed to have been made in Scotland since the 13th century.
Earliest Scottish cheeses include oatmeal-covered buttery Caboc, and Crowdie, made from sheep's milk or skimmed cow's milk. Later, full-cream hard cheeses were popular, such as Dunlop from Ayrshire. Made from cow's milk, they lasted longer and travelled better than soft cheese.
English cheeses such as Stilton were known in Scotland and widely imitated.
Recipe of the month from the Library's collections: '…the best Cheese in the World'
Martha Bruce, the Countess of Elgin, included a cheese section in her recipe book from the late 18th century.
This recipe for 'the best Cheese in the World' must have been a favourite: a Stilton-style cheese using milk and cream from seven cows and handfuls of marigolds.
Martha notes: 'The best time to make it is in August, it must be kept a year before you eat it.'
'To make the best Cheese in the World, in the stile of the Stilton Cheese, only much better'
Take the New Milk of seven Cows, with the Cream of seven Cows milk, heat a Gallon of water scalding hot & put into it three or four handfuls of Marygolds, bruised a little; then strain it into your Tub to your Milk & Cream & put some rennet to it but not to make it come very hard, then put the Curd into a sieve to drain, do not break it at all, but as the Whey runs out, tie the Cloth up, & let it stand half an hour or better, then Cut the Curd in pieces, & pour as much Cold water upon it as will Cover it, & let it stand half an hour then put one part of it into a Vat or hoop, near Six inches deep, break the top of it a little, just to make it join with the other, & strew a very little Salt upon it, then put the other in, & lay a fifty pound weight upon it, & let it stand half an hour, then turn it & put it into the press, turn it into wet Clean Cloths every hour in the day, the next Morning Salt it & let it ly in the Salt a night & a day, keep it swathed tight till it begins to dry, & Coat, & keep it covered with a clean Cloth a great while.
N.B. The best time to make it is in August, it must be kept a year before you eat it.