Blue Stilton at The Cheese and Wine Shop ...
see our range, which covers everything from Truckles to Jars, from 250g Stilton wedges, to half truckles, The Cheese and Wine Shop is the place to buy Stilton, which is Britain's historic blue cheese and Britain's favourite blue cheese!
a bit about Blue Stilton ...
There are just 7 dairies in the world licensed to make Stilton Cheese. Stilton is a "protected name" cheese and by law can only be made in the three counties Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. It takes 136 pints of milk (78 litres) to make a 17lb (8kg) Stilton cheese. Stilton takes its name from the village of the same name in Cambridgeshire although the cheese has never been made there.
The History of Blue Stilton:
Eighteenth century travellers encountering their first taste of Stilton cheese must have spread the word of its remarkable, mouth-pleasing flavour. Today, nearly 300 years later, Stilton is still made exclusively in the counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire from local milk.
Stilton was first recognised as a type of cheese at the beginning of the eighteenth century. It took its name from the village of Stilton, just south of Peterborough on the Great North Road, where the landlord at the Bell Inn sold his sister-in-law's cheese, made near Melton Mowbray, to coach travellers. The cheese was never made in Stilton and even today, protected by a protected denomination status, it can only be made in the three adjacent counties of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Blue Stilton today ...
Only seven dairies, using the original centuries-old recipe, are licensed to produce the creamy ivory-hued king of cheeses. So esteemed is Stilton's unique flavour and texture, it is the only British cheese graced with its own certification trademark.
Lighter than Gorgonzola, richer than Danish blue and more intense than other UK blues, Britain's Historic Blue is delicious enjoyed as part of a cheeseboard, but is equally at home in the kitchen. Its meltable, full-rounded qualities enliven salads and hors d'oeuvres, soups and sauces, as well as meat, vegetable and fruit dishes.
More than a cheese, Stilton is prized as the authentic flavour of an earlier time - a taste of history that continues to make news.
What makes a good Stilton?
'As well as the specific flavour, no other cheese is so visual. It must be heavily patterned in blue against a creamy background. Making it is a process that cant be hurried. The cheese doesn't like to be handled, so there is an irksome attention to detail that makes the process suited to a family business like ours with a passion for quality. Theres no substitute for experience, but we also need to measure and analyse to manage the process efficiently. "Ian Skailes, Cropwell Bishop"
In the maturing stores the cheeses are turned three times each week until sold. At the age of around four to six weeks, the cheeses are pierced using a piercing machine. This pushes stainless steel needles into the cheese all around its circumference. Once the air enters the holes, the Penicillium roquefortii which has thus far been dormant, can now start to grow, forming as it does the typical veins associated with Stilton cheese.
A second piercing takes place one week later.Three weeks or so after second piercing the cheeses are ready for grading prior to sale. A cheese iron is used to bore into the cheese and remove a plug which can be assessed for level of blue veining, and so the smell and flavour can be checked. This is done to every cheese because only when a cheese reaches the required standard can it be called Stilton cheese.
What wines go best with Stilton?
Our palates are personal and unique; what is a great pairing for one of us may be awful for somebody else. So you cannot be prescriptive but we can learn from what others have tried and we can experiment.
As a general rule, if you are eating Stilton with biscuits and you are looking for a wine, then Stilton needs one with a depth of flavour. Whether it is a robust red or a sweet dessert wine or fine Port, the Stilton and the wine should balance one another.
Firm favourites are:
one of The Cheese and Wine Shops Ports. Choose from our great range; theres Port for all budgets here at The Cheese and Wine Shop.
A quality dessert or pudding wine– Sauterne, Gewurztraminer, Muscat.
A full bodied, robust red wine such as a Shiraz.
Where you have used Stilton as part of a recipe, then the choices become even broader.
Cheese and Wines Dows Christmas Port; a good value partner for Stilton
How to cut Blue Stilton...
To get the most from a truckle, slice a "lid" off the top. The top inch of the cheese should be cut a wedge at a time. Each wedge should be about 3cm or 1 inch thick.
Cut wedges from around the cheese almost as if you are cutting a cake. Replace the "lid" and wrap in a damp tea towel or muslin to retain moisture. Only proceed to the next layer of cheese when the final wedge has been taken from the previous layer. Always use a sharp knife and try to keep the cut as smooth and flat as possible.
Storing your Truckle; Make sure that the cut surface is tightly covered with cling film. Then over-wrap the whole cheese with a damp cloth and store in a cellar, cool larder or the warmest part of the refrigerator. Change the cloth daily and keep nibbling! Store in cool conditions.
For more information, see our guide to cutting Cheese here.
How to look after your Stilton:
Always, always refrigerate Stilton until ready to use. Keep it in The Cheese and Wine Shop wax paper it arrived in.
before serving on a cheeseboard ensure the cheese is allowed to reach room temperature by removing it from the fridge up to 2 hours before use.
Ensure any Stilton left over is properly re-wrapped in its Wax paper, or if unavailable, in cling film and preferably kept in an airtight container. This prevents Stilton being contaminated by any other foods or Stilton contaminating them.
Stilton will keep quite happily in the fridge when properly wrapped for up to 2 weeks. During this period your Stilton will continue to mature and develop a more mellow flavour.
We dont recommend freezing Stilton; far better to buy it on a "as as you need it basis", but if you are left with more than you can reasonably manage, Blue Stilton will freeze quite well. Stilton can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Follow the steps below;
Ensure the cheese is well-wrapped in Wax paper or clingfilm. Label and date.
Defrost slowly – ideally for 24 hours in your fridge or a cool larder. This should ensure that the cheese doesn’t become too crumbly and retains its creamy texture.
Use within 3-4 days and do not re-freeze.
About Colston Basset Creamery ...
The village of Colston Bassett lies near the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border, in an area known as the Vale of Belvoir. Many villages in this area had small Stilton dairies in the nineteenth century, most of which have now disappeared.
For almost a centrury, Colston Bassett has been making the finest quality Blue Stilton, "King of Cheeses". A highly skilled, dedicated and experienced team use the same time honoured recipe and methods used by generations to make this unique, award winning cheese, every day taking the milk from the same pastures and the same farms that founded the dairy as a co-operative in 1913. Colston Bassett, a rural village in the heart of the English countryside, has become famous to lovers of fine cheese worldwide.
About Cropwell Bishop Creamery ....
This award-winning creamery is one of the last British independent Stilton makers. Cropwell Bishop Creamery is a family-owned and run company located in the beautiful Vale of Belvoir about 7 miles south east of Nottingham. The Skailes family have been at the heart of the company for 3 generations.
Cropwell Bishop is a fantastic Stilton, with a strong yet sweet and creamy flavour. Cropwell Bishop Creamery is an independent family-run business making Blue Stilton and Blue Shropshire cheeses. The creamery has won many awards for their cheese over the years at all major British cheese shows.
About Long Clawson Creamery ...
Founded in 1911, Clawson is one of the oldest and most successful farmers' co-operatives in the UK. Based in Leicestershire's beautiful Vale of Belvoir, the company's state-of-the-art cheesemaking plants benefit from a program of on-going innovation, investment in people and technology, hygiene control, training and efficiency. Long Clawson is one of our most popular Blue Stiltons here at The Cheese and Wine Shop.
Blue Stilton Reviews ...
Colston Bassett Stilton
This is a pale creamy off-white cheese with dense blue-green marbling which is much reduced towards the edge. It crumbles into non-curd lumps and is sticky between the fingers. The smell is buttery but with a note a bit like processed smoked cheese. It tastes buttery and creamy with decent balance but was lacking in bite, even in the very blue bits. Very hollow in the mid-palate and faded quickly. A mild Blue Stilton.
Cropwell Bishop Stilton
Pale and buttery appearance with much more blue than the first cheese. The blue is in a fine and extensive web throughout the cheese. This was less sticky and crumbled better than the first cheese. It was hard to detect anything on the nose from this cheese. It is better in the mouth, with a nice coarse-grained texture and good complexity. It is salty but also has a good blue hit. The flavours linger and have good depth and length. Hint of ammonia on the finish, but not distracting
Plenty of finely-marbled blue right out to the edge. The blue is the least intense colour, being actually more a pale green. Not particularly crumbly. The nose is buttery but also has an interesting complexity. There’s a nice richness to it and a nutty note too. This has a dense and buttery texture and is the most chewy of the cheeses. There is lovely depth of blue flavour and good balance with the salt, which is quite restrained. Good length, with just a hint of ammonia on the finish.
This looks really appealing. The cheese is a shade darker than the first two and on the plate it is naturally crumbling into curd-shaped bits. The blue is extensive and coarse-veined. This smells lactic and cheesy. There’s also a bready or malty richness on the nose. By far the most complex and appealing. In the mouth this is distinctly lighter and less dense than any of the others with a hedonistic melting quality. Smooth and salty with lovely layers of complex flavours. Good balance between the rich cheese and the bite of the blue. Stunningly good cheese.