I thought it was just a flippant comment, as I usually do in these circumstances. In this case, it was the lady behind the till at the farm shop at Wootton Wawen saying “Ah yes, that’s the best cheese in the world.”
But I do believe that it might just be true. Or if not, then nearly true. Certainly nowhere near flippant. Because Shropshire Blue has leapfrogged to the top of my desirable cheeses list. It’s not the most good-looking cheese – but it does have a rich, deep yellow-orange colour, with dainty blue veins. But it’s creamier than Double Gloucester. Creamier than Roquefort. If I was given to hyperbole, I’d say it’s creamier than cream. The flavour has a tang strong enough for a connoisseur to appreciate, but not strong enough to be accused of being wilful.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any history, or even any link to Shropshire, for that matter (although there is a small dairy in Ludlow that makes it now). That does lessen the impact somewhat (if only because I can’t tick it off my Cheese Locationing list). But with a flavour like this, I’m willing to forgive a lot.
If you can get some in your area, give it a try.