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Place Category: food & drink
Stichelton Dairy makes a classic blue, Stilton-style cheese made from unpasteurised milk at a new dairy built on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire.
Stichelton (pronounced Stickleton) is a rule-breaking creamy blue made at Collingthwaite Farm on the northern borders of Sherwood Forest. It’s produced in a way that makes it more like the original Stilton cheese, but because it is made with organic, raw milk, legislative rules mean it cannot be called Stilton cheese.
So Stichelton is a fine example of a Stilton-style cheese. It just can’t be called Stilton because it’s made with milk that would, by many, be regarded as the very best.
At Stichelton Dairy, the milk from a herd of organic Fresian-Hostein cows is piped directly into the dairy. The cheese is made with a small quantity of starter and rennet. As a result, the curd is very fragile. The curd is hand cut into small pieces and most of the whey is left to drain away. It is then scooped into a bath where the curd drains overnight. Milled again, it is salted and poured, unpressed, into cylindrical hoops. The hoops are turned daily and removed after five days. The sides of the young cheeses are hand smoothed to close any cracks.
Six or so weeks later, the cheeses are pierced with needles to allow the blueing process to begin. The final stage is to age the cheeses – for around three months.
This is artisan cheese making at its finest. The resultant cheese is melting, buttery, and salty with layers of mellow, nutty flavo