£3.90 for a large wedge of organic Stilton got me very excited. Before I had even paid I was promising myself I would make bread the following day to go with the cheese; I was making a mental note to buy eggs for a Stilton quiche; and I was salivating and beginning to fidget.
Stilton is not my favourite cheese but I do love it very much. Its creaminess protects the roof of my mouth and calms the penicillin mould, which I sometimes find a little too tangy in some cheeses such as Roquefort.
Stilton has its own website because it is, after all “Britian’s favourite cheese” with “magical blue veins”. The website provides a link to The Culinary Guide with a mouth-watering recipe for Stilton Risotto With Sausage, Spring Greens And Crispy Sage. So loved in fact, that there is an annual Stilton Cheese Rolling Championship. If you haven't seen cheese rolling, you will enjoy the unexpected community enthusiasm: Click here for a video. I promise it isn't nearly as shocking or painful as the Gloucestershire cheese rolling: Click here)
Although Stilton freezes well (*thaw it in the fridge slowly when you are ready to eat it), I had planned to consume the entire wedge - mostly by myself - by the end of the week, or maybe I should say two weeks, to avoid being quite so evidently gluttonous.
Stilton has been made since the 18th century. To stay as true as possible to the original recipe, The Stilton Cheesemakers' Association has prescribed the following rules:
- 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 pasteurized 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 magical blue veins radiating from the centre of the cheese
I especially like the last point. If the cheese does not adhere to every single one of the aforementioned points then it cannot be called Stilton.
The cheese’s unique flavour and texture demonstrates why it is important to follow the rules. It melts and crumbles easily so it is wonderful for salads as well as baked with figs and onions in a tart.
One week after buying the cheese, I have had it in salads, on bread, and in a frittata. I have finished half the wedge and am now worrying that I have too many recipes and not enough cheese!
For Stilton recipes, click here