Stilton, a blue veined cheese, was first made around 1720, and sold at the Bell Inn in Stilton, Huntingdonshire. Stilton owes its name and reputation to the village, but it is not actually made there.
Stilton Cheese cannot legally be made in the Village of Stilton.
• Both White Stilton and Blue Stilton are protected by their own Certification Trade Mark and EU Protected Desination of Origin (PDO).
• Stilton may only be made in the counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire from local milk. Only 6 dairies are licensed to produce Stilton (Colston Bassett Dairy, Cropwell Bishop, Long Clawson Dairy, Quenby Hall, Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery, Websters).
• The village of Stilton is located in Cambridgeshire.
Some Stilton Cheese History
Stilton was first made in the early 18th century in the midlands of England. Specifically in and around the Melton Mowbray area. Stilton takes its name from the village of Stilton (though no Stilton was ever made there) located about 70 miles north of London on the Great North Road.
A recipe for Stilton cheese was published in a newsletter by Richard Bradley in 1723 but no details were given on its size or shape or for how long it was matured.
There is no doubt that a cream cheese was being made and sold in and around the village of Stilton possibly in the late 17th Century and certainly in the early 18th Century and was known as Stilton Cheese.
With the development of the coaching trade, the town soon became a trading post between London and Edinburgh for many commodities and it is known that one of the innkeepers in the town – Cooper Thornhill, landlord and then subsequently the owner of The Bell Inn - turned this to his advantage by first selling the local cheese from the Bell Inn
As demand for Stilton Cheese grew, so the production switched almost exclusively to Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and the area around the town of Stilton began to concentrate on trading cheese rather than producing it.
Stilton Cheesemakers' Association (www.stiltoncheese.com/)