Stilton

We will talk about the dairies of Cropwell Bishop & Colston Bassett.

Colston Bassett produced by one of 6 producers, in the north of England is probably the most well known and produces the traditional version made with animal rennet.
colston bassett logo

Cropwell Bishop another well respected dairy produce a Stilton aged in terracotta pots and sealed with a wax top, theirs is made with a vegetarian rennet.
Cropwell bishop stilton pots

Both of these dairies are in the area where Stilton must be produced to be able to be called a Stilton, in the three counties of Nottingham, Derby & Leicester.
Four other dairies are also allowed to produce Blue Stilton;
Hartington Creamery
Long Clawson Dairy
Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery
Websters
Another dairy is only allowed to produce White Stilton

History of Stilton

The history of Stilton can be traced back to the early 18th Century where it was made in town of Stilton just outside of Peterborough. Peterborough/Stilton was a half way point between London and York where many a weary traveler would stop overnight and sample the local wares.
The recipe used has changed quite dramatically over the years yet remains one of the world’s best known and much loved cheeses.

Maturing

It takes around 72 litres of fresh milk to produce a 7.5kg Stilton wheel.

At Colston Bassett dairy they have had only 4 cheesemakers over the last 100 yrs, this only ensures that the practices remain unchanged and quality continues.
There are many regulations to follow before it can be called a Stilton, here are a few

– it can only be produced in the three Counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire
– it must be made from locally produced milk that has been pasteurised before use
– it can only be made in a cylindrical shape
– it must be allowed to form its own coat or crust
– it must never be pressed and
– it must have the magical blue veins radiating from the centre of the cheeseStilton

Stilton’s unique flavour makes it suitable not only for those special occasions when only the best will do , but also but for perking up everyday recipes and snacks. With its slightly open texture and buttery background it melts and crumbles easily.

There are numerous stories of how Stilton came about but you can check out the history here at the home of Stilton. . .
http://www.stiltoncheese.co.uk/history_of_stilton

Tasting notes

A creamy buttery firm textured cheese with a spicy blue cheese tang on the palate and veining throughout.
Traditionally paired with a Port and enjoyed during a wintry Christmas.

Quintessentially English, Stilton has its own Certification Trade Mark and is an EU Protected Food Name.
Interestingly Stilton may have some rocky years ahead, as the UK has decided to leave the EU Stilton may not be as protected as it has been in the past allowing others to create a Stilton like cheese!