Wed 25 Jun 2008
The brief history of stilton cheese Contrary to popular belief, Stilton cheese has never been made in the town of Stilton. Stilton is a town just outside of the city of London and was primarily used as a staging post for travellers; it was one of the owners of a hostel in a nearby town which first introduced a soft creamy blue veined cheese which then went on to take the name of the nearby town of Stilton. The entrepreneur had bought the cheese from a farmer’s wife in a nearby town of Melton Mowbray and this is where Stilton originated. Interesting facts on figures about Stilton: • There are only 7 dairies throughout the word that are licensed to produce Stilton cheese. • Stilton cheese can only be produced in three counties; these are Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Because the name “Stilton” is protected by law. • In order to make a 17lb Stilton cheese it takes a whopping 136 pints of fresh milk. • Over a one-year period there are over 1 million Stilton cheeses made. • 10% of all Stilton cheese made is exported to over 40 countries throughout the world. • Before leaving the dairy all cheese with the Stilton brand name receives a grade to ensure only the highest quality cheeses leave. •White Stilton is also a protected name cheese and is made in a similar way to its blue cousin – except that no mould spores are added and the cheese would be sold at about 4 weeks of age. It is a crumbly, creamy, open textures cheese and is now extensively used as a base for blending with apricot, ginger and citrus or vine fruits to create unique dessert cheeses. To be called Stilton, each cheese must: • Be made only in the three counties from local milk which is pasteurized before use • Be made only in a traditional cylindrical shape • Be allowed to form its own crust or coat • Be un-pressed • Have delicate blue veins radiating from the centre
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