Stilton is one of the quintessential English cheeses alongside a few well known friends. It can only be produced in the three counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire and must be made from locally produced milk too.
The history of Stilton can be traced back to the early 18th century and takes its name from the village of the same name in Cambridgeshire where a pressed, cooked, cream cheese of that name was first made and sold.
It’s culinary uses are broad-ranging – given this summer’s recent heatwave it works a treat crumbled into a salad or made into a blue cheese dressing (a favourite amongst Americans), blitzed with buttermilk – perfect with some torn romaine lettuce, celery and some good sourdough for a delicious dinner. A barbecued steak is frequently paired with a blue cheese sauce, but try it squished onto griddled bread before adding sliced steak and a handful of peppery watercress to make an incredible steak sarnie.
As with many ingredients, particularly cheeses, spending a bit more can reap large benefits – visit your local cheesemonger and inquire as to how aged the cheese is, where its come from and how it’s been kept to ensure you get the tastiest bit about.
Click here to read Gizzi Erskine’s fantastic recipe for pork chops with sage and stilton