Clemson Blue Cheese

Clemson, South Carolina is renowned for many things but cheese may not be the first thing to come to mind. Produced on the campus of famed Clemson University is a tasty artisanal cheese sure to delight!
To know the history of this cheese, one must go back to Stumphouse Mountain in Oconee County. Within this mountain is a rather odd find – a tunnel that isn’t really a tunnel! In 1852, construction began to connect Charleston, South Carolina to Knoxville, Tennessee by way of train but lack of funds caused the work to stop, leaving a tunnel in the rock that dead-ends. An airshaft within this tunnel causes a constant cool breeze throughout which is a wonderful treat during the hot summer months. This produces condensation and the result is a cool, rock tunnel that is usually wet. After the war between the states, any effort to rekindle the project failed and the tunnel was left abandoned.
In 1940, a professor at Clemson A&M College, now known as Clemson University, saw potential for curing blue mold cheese given the factors about Stumphouse Tunnel. With this in mind, the dairy department of this agricultural and mechanical school began its experiments with making blue cheese and curing it in the tunnel. With World War II, work was discontinued as Clemson lost many of their skilled specialists. Finally in 1951, Operation Blue Cheese began again with Clemson purchasing the tunnel. Using milk from Clemson’s own dairy herd, cheese was manufactured on campus and taken to the tunnel 30 miles away for curing, although suspended during summer months as it was too warm.
An agricultural center had been built at Clemson in 1956 so air-conditioned rooms were designed to duplicate the high humidity and temperature of the tunnel. By 1958, all of the manufacturing and curing of this cheese was done on campus, which allowed for better research that has contributed to modern agriculture.
Today, you can purchase some of this artisan cheese that has been aged for 6 months. Click here for purchasing information.