Friday, January 09, 2009

A Stilton story

I love Stilton cheese. When visiting the UK my sister buys industrial quantities, and when I arrived at my sisters house for Christmas she showed me a huge Stilton cheese recently purchased in London. Stilton is delicious in hot food or enjoyed with crackers and as the Britons do with a glass of port. I am glad to say that she gave me a large slice of Stilton to enjoy when returning to Oslo.

Stilton is a British blue cheese equivalent to the French Roquefort and the Italian Gorgonzola. As its counterparts it varies in taste according to maturity.

As Roquefort and Gorgonzola Stilton is a protected name. This means that it can only be produced in a very restricted area around this small British village. My sisters cheese was produced by the Tuxford & Tebbutt of Melton Mowbray creamery, one of a very few producers of this cheese. It has produced cheese since 1780

(Photo: uksignpix)

This cheese was milder than many of the others I have tasted in my time. My sister had bought a whole cheese and she had even got a free gift with it, a spoon specially designed to scoop out cheese from its soft core.

We were allowed a taste of Stilton after the Christmas dinner. My sister had (with great success) prepared a delicious succulent pork rib and she and I chose the blue cheese as an alternative to caramel mousse. We enjoyed the cheese with a glass of Sandemans port. The contrast between the salt, slightly bitter cheese and the warm sweetness of the port is sensational.

A Stilton treat

I had three large shopping bags of groceries when returning from Sweden. I usually buy small tins of Abba stews, as they are a great base for tasty meals. They come in reasonable sizes, perfect for one.

December 25th I returned home and discovered that my grocers were closed and I had no bread. I needed a treat and found a packet of Santa Maria taco tubs, small edible containers.

I opened up a tin of Abba mushroom stew, mixed in two tbsp of shredded cheese and two tbsp of crumbled Stilton cheese. To add a little kick, I added a tbsp of sweet chili sauce. A good idea is to add a beaten egg for more richness.

As the taco tubs easily burns, I decided to bake the tubs in a moderate oven (130C / 270F) until very creamy.

A perfect evening treat.

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