Cheese has the special ability to turn a bad day into a great one. Deli sandwich isn't totally doing it for you? Add cheese. Want to make that burger even better? Throw some cheese on there. That pasta looks like it could use some—you guessed it—cheese. 

Now, cheese isn't necessarily known for having the prettiest of odors, but these 13 smelliest cheeses really take stench to another level. However, if you can get past the smell, a lot of them actually taste amazing (or so I've heard). Interestingly enough, oftentimes the smelliest chees is also the most expensive.


This cheese hails from Italy and is made from pasteurized cow's milk. It is named after the Italian valley of Val Teggio, known for its mountains and caves. While this spot on the list of smelliest cheeses is pretty pungent, the taste is rather mild and even tangy. Some factories even add spices and nuts to it, to really bring out the flavor. This cheese is often found in salad, risotto, and pasta recipes and pairs well with either red or white wine. 

Cost: $16.99 per pound

Maturation time: 6 to 10 weeks

Stinking Bishop

The name of this one accurately implies how it landed on the list of smelliest cheeses. It hails from Gloucestershire, England and is actually one of the younger cheeses, as it was officially launched by Charles Martell & Son in 1994.

Stinking Bishop cheese is made from pasteurized cow's milk. Its rind is washed with perry, which is an alcoholic drink made of a type of pear known as the Stinking Bishop. The smell makes it very popular in the UK and many of the recipes pair it with roasted potatoes. The taste is very creamy and strong. 

Cost: $33.80 per pound

Maturation time: 6 to 8 weeks

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese can actually be made from sheep's milk, cow's milk, or goat milk and is ripened with Penicillium (yeah, that's a type of mold). Because blue cheese is a blanket term for cheese that is made with Pencilium, it is unclear where exactly it originates from. France, England, and Italy seem to have the most known variations.

The flavor of blue cheese varies with the type of milk that is used to make it. The taste, however, is typically sharp and salty. As gross at it may seem, the mold is harmless. Blue cheese is rather popular, and you can find it in dressing form, on a burger, and even on a cheese and charcuterie plate. 

Cost: $9.99 per pound

Maturation time: three to six months


Stilton is made in Britain and is named after a village. It is actually a variety of blue cheese, since it has penicillium in it. It can only be produced in the three distinct counties: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leictershire. Records show that it was sold in villages starting in the 1700s.

It is made from pasteurized cow's milk and is known for the blue veins. It is known to pair well with nuts, breads, and crackers, due to its strong and spicy taste, and since it is considered a hard cheese.

Cost: $28.98 per pound

Maturation time: nine weeks 

Rainbow's Gold

The name is deceiving, but this is really one of the smelliest cheeses. This cheese is from Somerset, England. It is also uniquely made from unpasteurized cow's milk. The cheese is based on a cheddar recipe and then washed in 'Golden Chalice' (an ale) everyday for several weeks, which makes it softer. It is named after its founder Phil Rainbow of the Somerset cheese company, who made it in 2005. Considered a semi-hard cheese, it is often recommended to be eaten with a strong beer.

Cost: $10.14 per pound

Maturation time: several weeks


Morbier hails from France and is named after a village in Franche-Comte. It is classified as a semi-soft cheese and made out of cow's milk. Aside from its very pungent and bitter smell, it is also characterized by a black layer of ash that runs through the middle of the cheese.

In the 1800s, when it was first made, cheesemakers would pour milk from the morning into the mold, press the leftover curd, spring ash to protect it over night, and pour more milk it over in the morning. The flavor is best described as creamy with a bitter aftertaste and is very sharp, which pairs well with Pinot Noir, the most versatile wine. 

Maturation time: 45 days to 3 months 

Cost: $12.25 per pound


Cados, or Le Cados, is unique. It is Camembert cheese, unpasteurized and made of cow's milk, that is washed in Calvados, an apple brandy, and then wrapped in toasted breadcrumbs. It is extremely creamy. It pairs well with Calvados or red wine. It was first made in 1985 at a cheese shop in France called Le Touquet

Cost: $19 per pound

Maturation time: Five to six weeks 


Epoisse is soft cow's milk cheese. People describe it as chewy, sometimes salty, and sweet with spice as well. It comes from a village called Epoisse in France, when it was first made by monks in the 16th century, who passed the recipe to local farmers.

Although many recipes came from this tradition, most of them call for the cheese being washed with marc, or white burgundy. It is so darn smelly, that it's actually banned on French public transport and banned altogether in the U.S. It pairs well with Chardonnay. 

Cost: $4.84 per ounce

Maturation: at least six weeks 


Limburger hails from the Duchy of Limburg. Today, it is mostly produced in Germany, and is made out of pasteurized cow's milk. It is said to be made by Trappist monks in the 19th century. The longer it ages, the softer and smellier it gets, and the rind is washed in a saltwater brine.

Apparently, continuing to wash the cheese in the brine allows for bacteria that causes human body odor to thrive. This is the reason why many people say it smells like feet. Apparently, this helps with making sure it will not mold, and it pairs well with rye bread and beer. 

Cost: $7.99 per pound

Maturation: three months

Pont L'évêque

Pont L'eveque cheese came from Normandy, France and was first produced during the 12th century. It is considered one of the oldest French cheeses. It is made from unpasteurized cow's milk, and the texture is soft and creamy. As you probably guessed, it is also pretty smelly, earning it a spot as one of the smelliest cheeses. The flavor is described as quite sour. It pairs best with Merlot. 

Cost: $21.25 per pound

Maturation: two to six weeks 

Brie de Meaux

This isn't the Brie that you're used to enjoying on paninis or with crackers. That Brie is actually a lot more processed so that it doesn't smell or taste as strong. This Brie is the OG Brie. Evidence suggests that Charlemagne first tasted it in 774. It's a raw, soft French cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk. It has a bumpy looking surface, because it is infused with Penicillium Candid molds. The taste is described as buttery and sweet and it goes great with champagne.

Cost: $19.85 per pound

Maturation: six to eight week


Munster, not to be confused with its American counterpart, Muenster, comes from the region of Munster, France. It is made from unpasteurized cow's milk, called crude milk. It dates back to the Middle Ages and was first produced in monasteries. The odor is quite pungent and it is a soft cheese. The flavor is savory. It goes well with white wines. 

Cost: $6.50 per pound

Maturation: 4 to 6 weeks 


Esrom is a Danish cheese that dates back to the 12th century. Unsurprisingly, it was first produced by monks. It is made from pasteurized cow's milk. The flavor is rather strong and the smell is very pungent. It goes best with red wines and dark beers. 

Cost: $15.99 per pound

Now that you know what the world's smelliest cheeses are, which ones do you want to try next?