Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cheese: Shropshire Blue

Shropshire Blue cheese, also known as orange Stilton, 
is made of pasteurized cow's milk in the United Kingdom. It has a natural orange-brown rind, blue veining, and distinctive orange color which comes from the addition of annatto, a coloring produced by the pulp surrounding the seed of the achiote (which also gives color to other cheeses such as Cheddar and Gouda). 
It is a soft cheese made the same was as Stilton cheese, except for the addition of annatto, by Stilton cheese makers. The annatto reacts with the curd and softens it a little, making it creamier in texture and a little bit milder and sharper than Blue Stilton. It was originally developed at a dairy in Inverness, Scotland by Andy Williamson, a cheesemaker who'd made Stilton cheese in Nottinghamshire. 
It was originally called Inverness-shire Blue, but later marketed as Shropshire Blue despite the fact it had no link to Shropshire. It is now made by a dairy in Leicestershire and dairies in Cropwell Bishop and Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire, small towns I was familiar with when I lived in England in the late 1970s. 

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