Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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crowdie a fresh cheese made in Scotland from tepid milk to which rennet has been added to form curds; a little salt and sometimes cream is added after the whey has drained away. Much crowdie used to be made by crofters in the Highlands. Production diminished after the Second World War, when crofters were leaving the land, and few of those remaining had cows; but since the 1970s it has increased again.

Marian McNeill (1929) gives a Highland recipe recorded earlier by Sir Walter Scott for crowdie to be served at breakfast. This called for two parts of sweet-milk curd and one part of fresh butter, worked together and pressed in a mould until firm enough to slice. In areas where whey was a popular drink, this was a useful way to use up the curd, especially as a stiff, finely blended curd would keep for months. Lowlanders, in contrast, only made and used what they called ‘one day’s cheese’. It is, however, from the Lowland Scots word ‘cruds’ (meaning curds) that the name crowdie comes.