What trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit to some local cheesemongers for some honest to goodness Scottish cheese? For this mouse, it would be insanity. Fortunately I was staying just around the corner from one of the best: Iain J. Mellis.
I.J. Mellis, as it is commonly known, opened its doors in 1993 on Victoria Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town district. The cave-like conditions of the shop are perfect for storing fresh farmhouse cheeses, especially the raw-milk selections the shop has readily available. Seventeen years and six shops later, it is fair to say that I.J Mellis is the largest retailer of cheese in all of Scotland with some of the most interesting and tasty selections I have seen.
From local favorites like Scottish Cheddar and Crowdie (a soft cheese found only in Scotland made from naturally separated milk) to just about every Neal’s Yard Dairy cheese made. The staff (Kate and David) are more than happy to dole out samples and give honest opinion of what is at its peak, what is still a bit young, and what has literally died on the table. Honesty in the product is as important as the product itself.
I bought just a few obscure wedges since my stay would be brief and traveling with funky dairy can sometimes get a person stuck in quarantine. More on my finds in later posts.