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"C" is for Clemson Blue Cheese

South Carolina from A to Z logo

"C" is for Clemson Blue Cheese. In 1940, a Clemson College dairy professor wondered if he could cure blue mold cheese in the dark, damp interior of Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel near Walhalla in Oconee County. He hoped that the product would be similar to French Roquefort cheese. His goal also was to use surplus milk from local cows, including Clemson’s own herd.

Curing cheese in the tunnel proved difficult and less than satisfactory. In 1958 the university moved the cheese-making process to air-conditioned rooms in the new food-processing building Newman Hall. By the early 21st century more than 40,000 pounds were being produced. Clemson Blue Cheese Dressing was introduced in 1998. Clemson Blue Cheese is an “artisan cheese” produced by hand with no preservatives and using milk specially processed with a high fat content.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.