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Stichelton Cheese, Nottinghamshire

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The makers of Stichelton sum up what their product is about when they refer to it as a “traditional new cheese.” Stilton has long been regarded as king of the British table – especially at Christmas when everyone wants the best; some Stilton is excellent; but sad to say much is less than flavoursome, and some downright dull and unpleasant.
Stichelton – the similar sounding name is no coincidence, it was chosen to emphasize the link, and is actually the original name of the village of Stilton – was developed to try to get back to the virtues of older styles of Stilton: it uses real rennet, albeit in small amounts; it only uses small amounts of starter; the cheese is made by hand – including some true hands on processing of the curds – and rather than being pressed is left to drain in a warm room. But above all it is made from unpasteurised cows’ milk, and milk that is produced organically at that.
The resulting flavours (plural, it is a wonderfully complex cheese) and hard-side-of-buttery texture easily justify its high price. As the taste lingers for minutes rather than seconds it may even be considered a bargain. With just a little bite, a nicely distributed but not overwhelming blue mould, the faintest touch of ammonia and lots of creamy depth, Stichelton is one of Britain’s best artisan cheeses.

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Stichelton Dairy (Food & Drink)

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