Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheese: White Stilton

There are two types of Stilton cheese: Blue and White. Both are trademarked and have the status of a PDO. And they could hardly be more different. The main difference between them is that Penicillium roqueforti mold is not introduced into the process of making White Stilton, so White Stilton does not have the blue veining of Blue Stilton and it does not have the strong pungent blue cheese flavor. 
White Stilton also does not take as long to make, four weeks as opposed to nine weeks. However, the basic cheese is the same. White Stilton is a dessert cheese. It is a hard cheese, and by itself, tangy. But like plain yogurt, White Stilton is unfinished all by itself. It is best complemented by fruit. 
At the website of Clawson Dairy, one of the six makers of Stilton cheeses, they offer White Stilton with Cranbery; with Blueberry; with Lemon; with Mango & Ginger; with Apricot; with Apricot and Valencia Orange; and with Pear & Apple.  We have the Clawson White Stilton with Pear & Apple 
and it is very, very sweet and dominated by the fruit. In fact, eating Blue Stilton and White Stilton back-to-back, the thing that jumps out about White Stilton is "SWEET." White Stilton is just really heavy cheesecake. It would also go real well in a fruity salad. I can eat a lot of it. I can only eat a small amount of Blue Stilton before its powerful taste overwhelms my mouth.

We had some White Stilton with Cranberries from Trader Joe's. 
I don't know which of the English dairies made it. I did not like the cheese itself as well as that above. I'm not sure if that was because the pear and apple is better suited to it for my taste, or just because something about the process or aging of the cheese was different. The pear and apple is sweeter and like eating dessert. The cranberry is not anywhere as sweet and, for me, it blurs the line between regular pub cheese and dessert cheese. 
The cranberry will not be on my purchase list again. 

2 comments:

  1. I disagree with the comment that White Stilton is best complemented by fruit and should be eaten as a desert cheese. I used to enjoy it with bread or biscuits and a beer when I bought it in Castle Market in Sheffield in the late 70's and early 80's - last year an a visit, I found the stall holder now moved to the Moor Market and much enjoyed eating White Stilton again. My appreciation of the flavour is of an apple aftertaste.

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  2. Yes, white Stilton can be eaten with crackers or bread like any other cheese and it certainly has its own unique qualities but I agree with the author, it is best suited to fruit and tastes just like a really good cheesecake.

    I just bought some White Stilton with added strawberries and cream (very seasonal for England) and it is divine. I'm eating it as I type this and I can't leave it along - I'll probably make myself sick.

    I also agree with the author about white Stilton and cranberries. It should work, it really should, but it just doesn't. The cranberries seem to suck out the sweetness and cheesecakey wow factor present with other fruits. I have tried various makes/brands with cranberries and they are equally disappointing.

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