Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Stilton an English cheese of international fame and the only British cheese to have legal protection, is officially described as follows:

Stilton is a blue or white cheese made from full-cream milk with no applied pressure, forming its own crust or coat and made in cylindrical form, the milk coming from English dairy herds in the district of Melton Mowbray and surrounding areas falling within the counties of Leicestershire (now including Rutland), Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The origins of Stilton are often traced to various country-house dairies in Huntingdonshire and Leicestershire but the most exhaustive investigation to date suggests that by the time of the cheese’s first mention in printed literature it was produced in the village of Stilton and its neighbourhood (Landy, 2010). The main purveyor of the cheese in the early 18th century was the Bell Inn, a coaching-house on the Great North Road, in Stilton.