Tag Archives: stilton

April’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Challenge Round-Up – Blue Cheese

Taste is a funny old thing. It’s easy to assume that if you love something with a passion that everyone else does too. But, of course, it doesn’t work that way. Children are a prime example: you think that your children are inestimably clever and funny but the person sitting next to you on the train for two hours thinks they are badly-behaved and precocious. And so it seems to be with blue cheese. I adore it and my fridge is never without a hunk. We consume kilos of the stuff and even the precocious children like it. So this month it was a shock to discover that lots of people don’t like blue cheese. Not only were there less recipes than usual but many people prefaced their blog post with ‘I don’t like blue cheese but…’ Nevertheless, several people gamely overcame their prejudices to cook up something lovely.
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Stilton, Rosemary and Walnut Shortbread

stilton walnut rosemary shortbread

As you can probably tell, I love pretty much all cheese. I get asked a lot what my favourite cheese is or which cheese I would take to a desert island (which are completely different questions; halloumi isn’t my favourite cheese but that’s what I’d take to a desert island). There’s no one answer for it, as it depends on what mood I’m in, what the weather’s like and who’s paying. But Stilton would have to be up there in all its creamily piquant loveliness.
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Home-Made Stilton

home-made stilton

It’s been a while since I bid a fond farewell to my home-made Cheddar, known as Tooting Gold or E-Colin for short. Anyone who has read this sorry tale before will recall that Colin, despite maturing apparently happily down in my cellar for six months was judged (quite literally, by a judge) to be distinctly below par. It was a disappointing result but hardly surprising, given my complete lack of knowledge about cheese-making when I set out to create him. Dr Frankenstein had nothing on me as I cobbled together moulds, picked off hairs and chased away mites to create my cheese monster. Poor Colin.
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Chocolate and Cheese Truffles with Stilton and Goat’s Cheese

chocolate-cheese truffles with blue cheese and goat's cheese

I love cheese. And I love chocolate. But, just like a husband and a gigolo, some loves should be kept apart – or at least that’s what I used to believe. A few months ago, I started coming across the odd choc-cheese combo and not just the usual cheesecake suspects; people were combining goat’s cheese with chocolate and even having a go with soft brie-type cheeses. Bringing my two loves together had to be worth a shot and I thought I’d throw blue cheese into the mix, although the internet was fairly quiet on this one.
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A Marbletree Cheeseboard and Belvoir Crumpets

Belvoir Crumpets port and stilton

I was feeling a bit put out the other week when someone ‘fed back’ to me that they thought the design of my blog was a bit awful and the photos were especially dreadful, partly because I always use the same plates. Now, don’t get me wrong, I concentrate on the writing and the cheese, I know I have the design skills of a mole in the dark and I still haven’t got a new camera after dropping mine a few weeks ago. So this feedback wasn’t a surprise. I even agreed. But still, you know, it hurt. So when I got an email from some nice people at a little company called Marbletree, asking if I would like to try out one of their cheeseboards, it seemed like very good timing. A nice new thing to show off the cheese on.
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Stichelton is one of those cheeses that gets talked about a lot in cheese-world but it’s fair to say that most people, living sadly in un-cheese-world, won’t know the name (although if they heard it they might stop, ponder and perhaps think ‘Hmm, sounds a bit like another blue cheese…’) Stichelton is a cheese with an interesting genesis. It’s a bit of a rebel cheese; the sort of cheese that would skive off cross-country running and go for a fag instead. But it’s that sad kind of rebel that tried to hang out with its peers but was shunned for being ‘a bit different’:

Here it is, looking rebellious and a bit sulky:

stichelton cheese
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Hart’s Content: Bringing Stilton-Making Back to Derbyshire

Hartington Creamery Cheese Stilton Peakland Blue White

It’s a film we’ve all seen. A traditional industry is closed down, leaving a community devastated, both in terms of economic loss and sense of identity. But then a band of locals get together and find new purpose through ballet dancing or trombone playing or pub stripping. Of course, it’s all made up, based on whimsical notions of plucky northerners winning over adversity. But, for one Derbyshire village I visited recently, truth could be stranger than fiction – except they’ve found a new beginning in a different sort of culture from ballet or brass bands. To be precise, a cheese culture – Penicillium roqueforti – which is responsible for the blue veins of Stilton.
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