Friday, 1 June 2018

Cheesey Does It

It is, as I am sure you are all aware, World Milk Day today. Up here, the supermarkets stock delicious local milks, creams and cheeses and the staff here are eager to support our local dairy and farmers. Why, only today, we forced down several tubs of local ice-cream in various flavours. 'Twas our citizenly duty and a tribute to World Milk Day...and it was hot... and ice-cream is quite nice...

Cheeses drying in Flotta, 1945

A woman using a plout kirn, Birsay.

Butter making class with Miss Boyd, Burray

Woman. making butter, Birsay
Cheese and butter making class at Grimness school, South Ronaldsay.

A plethora of cheeses


  1. Hunh. I missed World Milk Day. Being somewhat lactose-intolerant, it's probably just as well. But I love cheese, and your post is a pretty one. I'm curious, is "plout" another word for butter? In the 2nd photo above, the caption says "A woman using a plout kirn, Birsay." Over here on this side of the Pond, the device she's using is called a butter churn.

  2. Hi Sue,

    I looked up 'plout' in the Orkney Wordbook by Gregor Lamb:
    plout: to plunge. Plout kirn was the old type of churn in which butter was made by plouting a stick up and down. Milk was used for this process and not cream. The kirn was wide at the top unlike the cream kirn which was narrow at the top.

  3. That's really interesting. Thanks for the feedback. I may have to find a way to work "plout" into a conversation around here! It's a great word. So the photo shows a cream kirn, since it's narrower at the top than the bottom. I'm not sure what was churned in the churns here--whether it was milk, cream, or both. But most of them were of this shape.


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