Colston Bassett Dairy, Nottinghamshire
Notes: Rich and velvety smooth. Sweet with mineral tones, and winey spice.
Made under the watchful eye of Billy Kevan, only the fourth Head Cheesemaker of the dairy since 1920, and a watchword for consistency. Colston Bassett Stilton is the only remaining exclusively hand-ladled Stilton.
Stilton was given its name by the village of stilton just south of Peterborough where it was first made and traded. Due to its history it has been awarded PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin) – meaning that today, Blue stilton cheese can only be made in the three adjacent counties of Nottingham, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
We are often asked how Stilton gets its Blue veining. When the pasteurised milk is placed into the cheese vats, a starter AND blue mould culture is added (Peninillium Roqueforti) - the rest is similar to any other cheese production, adding the rennet which separates the Curds & Whey. Once the set curd begins maturing, needles are injected into the cheese to allow air to penetrate deep inside the cheese stimulating the mould growth and ultimately giving the distinctive veining.
The cheese should be a creamy colour with blue veining throughout. The texture should be creamy and soft with a mellow flavour and no sharp acidic taste from the blue.
Stilton is a very diverse cheese and not just something to put on a cheeseboard at Christmas. It works well melted on Steaks and burgers and pairs very well with Ginger or Chocolate. Equally, keep it simple and serve with sticks of celery!
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