Oftentimes when people think of blue cheese, this is the guy that comes to mind: Blue Stilton, a classic. One of the oldest known cheeses, there’s evidence of this cheese’s production going back to the 1700’s. What originally started out as a pressed, cooked cream cheese has evolved over the years into what we recognize today as Stilton: un-pressed and semi-hard in firmness. This updated texture makes it great for crumbling and melting alike.
With an EU Protected Food Name, Blue Stilton has a number of requirements to meet in order for it to be called Blue Stilton. It must be made in one of the three English Counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamsire, or Leicestershire and made from locally produced and pasteurized cow’s milk. Additionally, the cheese must not be pressed in its making and it must be cylindrical in shape, have its own naturally-formed rind, and have those gorgeous blue veins emanating from its center.
After being aged for about 6 weeks, stainless steel needles poke holes into the wheels of Stilton, allowing the veining process to begin and the blue mold to spread throughout; the cheese is aged for a minimum of 9 weeks total. Each wheel is then graded by a highly trained professional, ensuring that the Blue Stilton you get is top quality.
Falling a little more towards the heavier side, as far as blues go, this one is definitely a pick for blue lovers–not for the mild-hearted. Pair it with your favorite glass of Port Wine and a drizzle of your finest honey for an unforgettable experience.
For more detailed information on Blue Stilton, check out the cheese’s official website HERE.